Sunday, November 03, 2019

NaNoWriMo....or how to write a novel in 30 days!!!

Contemplating my novel!!



Perhaps November is my favorite month after all. I thought it was October, but now I have changed my mind. I think it has something to do with the way the sun slants into my windows through the prisms as they dance upon the wall. Or, maybe how the garden looks after the first hard frost and snow, forlorn yet very much alive with birds clamoring for the last bits of berries. Or, could it be the solitary work of writing on that novel with NaNowrite? Maybe it is a combination of everything. With the lawn mower tucked neatly inside the garage along with the kayak, it is time to think of winter projects. There are so many that I worry winter will be over too soon!

I have been a strong supporter of NaNowrite for several years. Let us just chat about it on this first Saturday of November. NaNowrite began in 1999 with just 21 participants. The idea was (and still is) to produce a writing piece of 50,000 words in just thirty days. Let us break that down. To produce that kind of writing, it means you need to write 1,667 words per day. If you did not start yesterday, that means you need to write 3,334 words today. Do not despair! It can be done.
I think this is good advice for anything we want to do and learning to do it in small steps, not just writing. But for now, it is writing I am talking about. Now perhaps you do not want to write the American novel. Right. Perhaps you want to leave a memoir for your kids. Now we are talking, yes?

The best practices for NaNowrite the following tips. Write fast! Yes, do not ponder, dillydally, ruminate or noodle around, just write. Do not do any editing. None. Zero. Nada. That is hard to do and I have trouble with that one, of course our laptops have autocorrect so that is good, but nonetheless, you will want to edit. Do not. Do not research while you are writing. Make notes on a separate piece of paper if you need to, but do not take time away from the actual writing. My last bit of advice to is to set a timer. I use this for everything artistic that I do. I set a timer for writing, for rehearsing, and even for playing music. It is good to stop and stretch…make tea…take a walk…and then get back to work. 

If this all sounds good, then please keep reading. I think getting your thoughts on paper is important while writing a novel or your memoirs…all the same. In the past few years, I have held writing sessions at Trine in Wells Gallery on Sunday afternoons. I have loved meeting you there, but honestly, the group could be larger. This year I have three write-ins around town in two-hour blocks. I have secured these locations so we can meet, chat a bit, and then get to work. All three are different, and the rules remain the same, you can come to one or all three if that works for you.

The first write in will be at Caleo CafĂ©’ on Friday, November 8 from 2-4. (Oh lucky us, we can order coffee!) I will secure the table up front so come on in. If we are not friends yet, we soon will be! On November 13, we will write at the Angola Carnegie Library. Karen Holman has offered us the large table in the basement where it will be quiet and we can work. Our last write-in will be in Wells Gallery in Taylor Hall on the Trine Campus. This event will be from 2-4 on Sunday, November 24. That space is so beautiful the words will just flow.

Bringing your laptop is the easiest way to write when you want to count words, but I have written many stories by hand also. Bring pencils, pens, paper, laptop, and a sparkle in your eye. If you have questions, I can answer those for you, but most of all we will hear the sound of the keyboard or the scratch of the pencil on your paper. Maybe there will be wind or rain outside the window. We will not even notice. 

Sylvia Plath once wrote, “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”