National Novel Writing Month is in full swing. In case you haven’t heard of this program, let me explain. It’s designed to encourage those who have always wanted to write a novel to push through and get the words on the paper. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days, which is a smokin’ pace. There’s no revising, no prettying things up. It’s just a giant shove to get the story out.
I have to confess I’ve never signed up for it–partly because I believe you have to post your final output (please correct me if I am wrong!) and since my work is contracted before I write it, I’d be in violation of my agreements with my publishers to post that much of it. However, I applaud the ideals of NaNoWritMo. Several of my friends have used it to jump start a new project and my guest today, Jean Viola Ryan, is here to share her experience with it. (Some of you may remember Jean because she’s been a Red Pencil Thursday volunteer!)
Thanks for having me, Mia. National Novel Writing Month is going strong. Congrats to everyone attempting to write 50,000 words in the next 30 days. It’s not easy, especially over the Thanksgiving holiday. I did my first NaNoWriMo in 2007. We traveled to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. The whole clan was there, including all 3 of my husband’s brothers and their families, as well as aunts and uncles. The table stretched into the living room. I worked diligently the week before to get extra words so I could take the day off, but I warned Hubby that I would be writing while at his folks. We had bought me a laptop so I could write anywhere.
The next day I woke up with a 103 degree fever, but I didn’t have time to be sick. I had a novel to write. I was a Writer and I needed to write. I had been writing every day before that, so writing had become a habit. It takes 3 weeks for something to become a habit. Only 5 days to lose it. I wasn’t about to lose it.
There was no way I could write with all of clan Ryan happily socializing, especially when my concentration wasn’t good because I was sick. Fortunately, the library was open. I drove my sick-butt to the library and pecked out my word count. When Hubby found out how sick I was he said, “I don’t know if this means you are committed or should be committed.”
I didn’t write 50,000 words that year. I wrote close to 60,000. At the time, I knew next to nothing about writing. It took me several years to shape it up, but eventually, it became The Mark of Abel, my debut novel out December 21 from MuseItUp Publishing. I’m not even sure how much of those original 60,000 words are left.
They say you need to write one million words before you are published. NaNoWriMo is a good place to start those. It will help you build a habit that will serve you well long after we change the calendar. It will give you war stories so you can motivate yourself when your muse goes on vacation. BICHOK – butt in chair, hands on keyboard.
Blurb: Lucifer plans to use a frustrated artist to return to heaven, but falling in love with her reawakens the compassion that got him expelled.
Coming this December from MuseItUp Publishing.
Thanks for dropping by, Jean! I’m excited to share your debut title with my reading friends.
Leave a comment or question for Jean or me and some lucky random commenter will receive my Christmas novella My Lady Below Stairs in their choice of Kindle or Nook format.
It’s the story of a scullery maid who resembles her mistress well enough to impersonate her at a grand Christmas Ball–where the real lady is expecting a proposal from a certain viscount! But the head groom who loves her isn’t about to let that happen. Booklist calls the mistaken identity and mishaps in this tale “worthy of Shakespeare!”