Monday, November 21, 2016

#NaNoWriMo Lessons

If you follow me on any social media, you'll probably see me talking about #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

There are people who adore NaNoWriMo and gobble up any info/blogs/vlogs they can on the subject. Me.

And there are people who are probably sick of hearing about it by now.

I'm hoping you're in the first group, because I'm going to talk about it.

NaNoWriMo is my favorite time of year, because all of us introverts tend to crawl out from our writing cave and attempt human interaction. We are social. Just in small groups. For very limited periods of time. Online. ;p

I'm leading a Word War group this year. (And we're winning, of course.) Which means my own word count has been on my mind more than ever. I tend to need deadlines. I need someone breathing down my neck and asking me where the hell my writing time was today.

I adore the NaNoWriMo graph page too. It tells me where the I'm supposed to be at any time in the month, and exactly how freaking far behind I am. Or ahead. When I'm ahead, it's awesome.

I also regularly stalk my writing buddies. (Want to be my buddy too? Find me HERE on the site.)

We are rounding the corner into the last week in this month of writing with abandon, and I swear, I get something new from this experience each time I do it.

The top 5 things NaNoWriMo has taught me?

1. I can finish a novel. I'd never made it to the end of a book before this writing competition. I was a serial starter. Tons of scenes, and first chapters, and I'd always peter out. NaNo taught me to stay the course. Interlocking Hearts, was my 2014 NaNo novel. It took me until mid-december to get to the end, but I credit NaNoWriMo for giving me the head start, and the sprinting buddies I made, to help me make it to Paisley's happily ever after.

2. Authors always think someone else writes better than they do. Every single one of them. Anyone I have met who I idolize in the writing world strives to be better. They all look up to other people for inspiration. Even the people you think have it all, don't think they're doing it right. Send your favorite author an email and gush over them. I promise you, they never get tired of it.

3. Everyone needs an editor. If someone says they self-edit. They either put out books that aren't worth your time, or they lie. Once your ideas are on the page, it's time to rip them apart with a red pen and kill off the ones that aren't helping your story along. The first time you have a thorough edit. It. Will. Suck. Buck up, and keep going.

4. There is someone on the internet staring at a screen who needs a word war buddy. Type in #wordsprint or #1k1hr into the twitter search. You'll find someone racing to get their word count in too. I also my Facebook friends to write with me.

5. Now is the time to try something new. What you're doing is hard. Whatever goals you've set for this month, 50k new words, finishing up an edit you've been putting off, writing every single day without skipping one... You're doing something that pushes you. I try and do something new each round. I'll try out a new drafting technique, or a new program, or just a new genre. I use NaNo to do something I might not have done otherwise. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but I have so many more resources to learn through other writers at this time of year, that I'd be crazy not to take advantage of it.

Love it or hate it, NaNoWriMo is here, and we're sprinting toward the finish line. If you know someone who is writing, cut them a little slack. They might talk your ear off about the highs and lows of this month. Meet them somewhere with coffee and cake so you can smile and nod supportively.

They also might be drowning in the craziness that is writing that first novel. Send them a meal. They've likely been living on frozen pizza and coffee.

Are you writing this month? Have you learned something about your writing? Or do you have any tips that are getting you through?

Chat with us about it!


To find Roxy's books with buy links and what she has coming up next check out her website at

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