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Third Times a Charm #IWSG #Nano #Nanowrimo

Today I’m writing for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s blog hop. The first Wednesday of each month, we write in inspiration to a question posed by the group’s administrators. If we want to. We don’t need to write in response to the question posed, but I like to use their query as the springboard for the monthly post.

This month we were asked, ‘Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?’


Third Time’s a Charm

National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo – or NaNo as many call it – descends every November, sending scads of writers into a writing frenzy. Today, the monthly posting day for our IWSG blog, coincides with Nano’s kickoff.

The goal sounds simple. Write 50,000 words in a month. Only a mere 1,667 words per day. You write fast and furious. Banish your inner editor to oblivion for 30 days. Then, after the New Year, take your project and begin the editing and polishing process. For your month long effort, you end up with a nice novella, or a good start on a larger novel.

Only 1,667 words a day. Piece of cake. It’s easy. Right?

It is. Until you try to put it into practice.

Unfortunately the rest of the world doesn’t stop for our writing marathon. Jobs continue. Family life continues. Children and spouses still want fed. They still want clean clothes. Pets still want attention. And then there’s the holidays beginning to edge out all available time. Thanksgiving, with its many family obligations is towards the end of the month and Christmas is breathing down our neck like a demon. We’re trying to write, knowing that we should be buying gifts, addressing cards, and any of the other holiday tasks that multiply like breeding rabbits on steroids.

F&S coverIt took me three times before I completed the goal in 2013 and hit 50,000 words. Or, to be more precise, 50,333 words. My project that year was Fat and Sassy, a story of my grandparents and their six children (one of my mother), mostly set in the early 1940’s. Taking tales of the past – mostly from my mom – and fictionalizing them into this book was very rewarding. It took another three years though before the project was completed and published.

In 2009 I tried Nano for the first time with Three Bags Full. I made it to 19,000 words. In 2012 I tried again with Prissy and Paige and made it to 24,625 words. Yikes! Better, but still not there.

Then…ta-da! In 2013 I finally made it!

I participated for the next three years, and made it each time. In 2014, A Better Life A to Z made it to 50,602. In 2015, My Wildest Dream hit my highest mark at 57,823. In 2016, Peonies & Peppermint reached the goal at 52,087. Alas, a computer crash wiped out A Better Life and My Wildest Dream. Since I had a pre-publication obligation to Amazon to upload My Wildest Dream by a certain date, I frantically wrote for several weeks to try to recreate that book. (Writing more furiously even than I did during Nano!) If I failed to upload the book, I’d lose the ability to offer prepublication deals – for a year I think. So there’s a book there, but I don’t promote it and need to either take it down, or add to it.

This year, starting today, I’m working on another project, Every Day’s a Good Day, which I’ve talked about writing for three years now. It’s time. And I need the kick in the pants that Nano gives us. And I’ll make it again – even if I have to use a dirty little trick. The book is about working in a retail environment and maintaining a positive attitude. ‘Retail’ is a word that will come up often. So, if instead of writing ‘retail’ I write ‘retail-job-that-sucks-the-living-life-out-of-mere-mortals’…I get 11 words instead of 1. That should help me stretch and reach that goal of 50,000 words in nothing flat!


Check out more Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts here.


How to Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas: 45 Experts Share Secrets — Mostly Blogging

Blindsighted. That’s how I felt when my daughter asked me if I feared running out of blog post ideas. My answer: Not so far. As I enter my fourth year of blogging, I am preparing for the worst: running out of blog post topics. Like a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter, I gathered…

via How to Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas: 45 Experts Share Secrets — Mostly Blogging

5 Things Not To Do When You Get Rejected — Megan Morgan

You wrote a book. You poured your heart and soul into it and worked on it for a long time–weeks, months, maybe even years. You edited and revised it, you showed it to a few people you trust, you incorporated their suggestions and you’ve read every single word of this manuscript so many times they’re […]

via 5 Things Not To Do When You Get Rejected — Megan Morgan

6 Editing Hacks for Busy Writers — EM Biddulph

Let’s face it: editing, generally speaking, is not the fun part of the writing process. Trawling through pages and pages of your work looking for errors and areas in need of improvement requires a lot of effort, and can be both time-consuming and tiring. Yet, it is a vital part of the writing process. Reworking […]

via 6 Editing Hacks for Busy Writers — EM Biddulph

Blogging for Writers: What Blogging Teaches about Writing — Ronel the Mythmaker

Last time I wrote about why writers should blog and how to set up a blog. Despite all the reasons given why a writer should blog, it probably wasn’t compelling. Let’s say you call yourself a novelist and believe the only writing worth doing is epic stories of heroic struggles (nothing wrong with that, it’s […]

via Blogging for Writers: What Blogging Teaches about Writing — Ronel the Mythmaker

Business Musings: Expand Your Target Audience 2: Slow Growth (Branding/Discoverability) — Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Writers always believe that they can become a bestseller if they only goose their sales properly. I actually had a brand-new writer scream at me once about this very thing. Back in the early days of Amazon’s Kindle, she had “sold” 50,000 copies of her only novel by giving it away for free. “I’ll…

via Business Musings: Expand Your Target Audience 2: Slow Growth (Branding/Discoverability) — Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Writing Wednesday: Great Opening Paragraphs — Frazzled Fictions

You’ve got a fantastic idea, you know your characters better than your family, the twists and turns in your plot are guaranteed to have your readers enthralled. You sit down to write your opening line and no matter what you do, your beginning reads like a soggy beige pancake. We’ve all been there, luckily there […]

via Writing Wednesday: Great Opening Paragraphs — Frazzled Fictions

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