Everyone has good advice for NaNoWriMo
National Novel Writing Month has been an important part of my life since 2004. My NaNoWriMo stats page says I this is my seventeenth NaNo and that I have completed twenty-four projects (Camp NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy) for a total of 1,872,314 words. If I only ever wrote during NaNoWriMo, that would be satisfactory, but I like to write all the time. Last year alone, I wrote 1.1 million words. I have over forty books published in the open market under two different author names, many of which were NaNoWriMo projects.
But it all started out in November 2004. I was laid off work and my wife suggested I should participate in a new program she read about. I was thrilled. I’d been writing “when I had time” prior to that. Always wanted to be a writer. But life, work, car payments, and mortgages got in the way. I wrote a lot of technical manuals and training programs, but my love of novels got neglected.
In 2004, I suddenly had permission to spend thirty days writing. Blogspot, also a relatively new platform at the time, was encouraging participants to blog their novels that year. I decided to do so and each day updated my blog with the current words. People responded to the blog and I just had to keep writing. I still remember sitting up until midnight on November 30 struggling to get just a hundred more words so I’d be over the 50,000 goal. I made it, and I’ve made it every year since then.
Over the years, I have continued to post chapters of my NaNoWriMo novels as they were completed. I continue to have people who actually pay to read them as I write them! Amazing! But making my writing public was one of the key success factors. I remember having skipped a few days around the holiday one year and getting a panicked email message from a reader who wrote, not to me but to my main character, “Deb, are you all right? You caught a ride with that strange man out of Belize and into Mexico and we haven’t heard from you since. Please tell us you’re okay!”
How could I not get back to the keyboard and update the story so my distraught reader would be okay?
In many ways, it is that sense of being in the public eye that keeps NaNoers writing. Make an announcement that you are writing a book this month. Let everyone you know become a part of the project by doing an extra load of laundry, excusing you for two hours on Thanksgiving to write, bringing you snacks. Join your local NaNoWriMo region and attend (virtually this year) write-ins. Participate in the forums and record when you pass significant milestones in your project.
It’s unlikely that you’ll have a publishable draft in thirty days. My book, City Limits, was my 2017 NaNoWriMo project. It went through a ninety-percent rewrite with the help of six editors before I released the book. My 2019 project, A Place at the Table, won’t be out until Christmas this year. Writing is a long process. But the first step is to sit at your keyboard and start typing. NaNoWriMo is the perfect time to do it.
What are you waiting for?
author Nathan Everett
City Limits is available at Amazon and other vendors.
Gee Evars stumbled into Rosebud Falls on Independence Day just in time to rescue a toddler from the rushing torrent of the Rose River. And to lose his memory. In an attempt to make Rosebud Falls his home, Gee becomes a local hero and inadvertently leads a revolt that changes the balance of power in the town. But will he ever know who he really is?
Find Nathan over at Twitter!