Let’s talk about NaNo

A week from today is the first day of November. And you know what November means in the writing community, right? NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month.

NaNo 2012The goal of NaNo is simple: Write 50,000 words in the month of November. I participated for the first time two years ago and had a blast. One of my favorite things about the NaNo experience is the community. Being surrounded by the excitement and enthusiasm of thousands of other writers, all racing to log a few thousand words a day, is inspiring beyond measure.

I’m under deadline right now, revising TAKEN2, but I’m still going to attempt NaNo. I have a new story idea that I can’t stop thinking about it, but my progress on it has been slow and wavering, mostly due to all my other obligations and deadlines. Even if I fail to meet the 50k goal, I still want to tap into the energy of NaNo and chip away at this New Shiny idea.

Are you doing NaNo this year? If so, you can find me here. Let’s cheer each other on. Furthermore, I’m helping a few other YA authors spread the joy of NaNo with encouragement, inspiration, and writing advice.

Beth Revis started a wonderful “Ask a Published YA Author” thread in the NaNo forums. If you have burning questions, drop us a line there and one of us will answer when we have a spare moment.

I’m also contributing to a NaNo pinterest board with Susan Dennard, Sarah J Maas, Jessica Spotswood, and Jessica Khoury. It’s full of inspiring visuals. If you hit a rough patch in your writing sprints, this board may be the perfect remedy! (Susan and Sarah are also giving away mini-crits for NaNo participants. Details here!)

There’s also the possibility that I could host some writing sprint parties on twitter. Say, once or twice a week, at a set time. We’ll write for an hour and then check in with each other, share word counts, successes, roadblocks, etc. (Would anyone be interested in joining these? Let me know in the comments.)

I have to dive back into revisions, but I want to leave any new NaNo-ers with one piece of advice: Not “winning” NaNo does not mean you’ve failed. Yes, the goal is to pound out 50k, but the bigger goal is to get your butt in the chair and commit to a piece of writing for a month long time frame. If you do that, if you get down some words that are the foundation of something amazing, that’s all that really matters. (Because let’s face it: no one can really write a complete novel in 30 days. Plus, 50k is on the short side. Oh, and you’ll still need to revise it a million times before it becomes something polished.)

So join me! Get some words down. Let’s start chipping away at our next great story ideas together.

On a side note, there are two TAKEN giveaways still underway:

» If you want free TAKEN swag, I’m giving bookmarks, bookplates, and stickers to the first 100 readers who request them. Snag yours here.

» There’s also a chance to win an ARC of TAKEN over on Jessica’s “Confessions of a Bookaholic” blog. (This is the only ARC I’m giving away until the new year, so don’t miss out). Enter to win now.

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