NaNoWriMo 2019

NaNoWriMo 2019

nanowrimo

Guess what I’m going to try for the first time?

I believe we are given signs when we choose to look for them. And I had a series of signs within a couple of days in September that were steering me in the direction to try and do NaNoWriMo. Here is what it is all about: https://nanowrimo.org/

I’ve had a story kicking around in my head that won’t go away for an embarrassingly long time but I’ve been stuck on how to move the story forward.

So when one of my favorite bloggers, Lillian Csernica wrote a post about prepping for NaNoWriMo, I saw that as my first sign and I was intrigued. Then I had one of those conversations which instantly sparked a solution to my plot problem and I immediately knew of a way to continue the story. Next I came across a book that grabbed my attention noticing that it was very similar to the story I wanted to tell but also saw how my story could be different and unique. And finally, someone at work mentioned that we should try doing NaNoWriMo as a program at the library. All of these things happened within a few days of each other. I was getting the message. It was time to write and work on that story again.

Most of the programs I run are for middle school age kids and teens. I love working with teens and we never have enough programs for that age group. It’s notoriously hard to keep a teen program going because young adults have very busy lives. I have had a couple of teens ask if we could do a writing program. So I’m going to try doing a NaNoWriMo Young Writers program. We will have a prep meeting. Then we’ll have weekly programs through the month of November and then a wrap up one the first week of December. So it’s a short time commitment which hopefully will appeal to everyone. The program is good for the library and selfishly, I’m hoping it will push me into serious writing mode again.

Since I haven’t done NaNoWriMo before, I’m researching it and am getting more excited about trying to do this. If I can get some teens to do this I’m hoping our enthusiasm will keep us going and we can figure it out together.

I just registered on the NaNoWriMo site for myself. And if the teens who come to our prep group want to do the Young Writers program officially, I will register there as an educator so we can set up a virtual classroom. If they don’t want to do it online, we will set our own goals and cheer each other on.

I am committing myself to this goal. That way if I want to avoid being horribly embarrassed and shamed by everyone who knows I will undertake this event, then I need to complete it. And for those of you who plan on not letting me get away with failing, according to the NaNoWriMo statistics, there is only a 17 percent success rate for completing this task which is kind of sobering. Even if I don’t make the 50,000 word goal, I will be writing and that is a good thing.

Right now I’m reading the incredibly helpful and funny book called No Plot? No Problem! written by the founder of this annual event, Chris Baty. Lots of good information in this book. I’m getting familiar with the NaNoWriMo site now so I don’t waste time figuring it out in November.

I’m also making notes about the story I want to write. I’m not really a plotter but this way I’ll have a loose guide to where I want the story to go. I’m making scene titles and have to restrain from working on the scenes now.

So wish me luck! And hold me accountable. I don’t like commitments so this is a stretch for me. Pushing our comfort zones is what makes life interesting, right?

Oh, and if you have participated in NaNoWriMo and have any tips for me, please share them. I need all the help I can get.

If you want to show support with kind words and encouragement, I would love that too.

If you are participating I wish you good luck and good writing.

The Librarian Who Writes

Guess what? I got to write a guest post for published author Erin McCole Cupp. She is finishing the sequel to her book Don’t You Forget About Me (which is a really good book!) and needed some guest posts for her blog so she could work. I’ve never done this before but figured I would give it a try. So please visit her blog to read what I had to say about how being a librarian informs my writing:  http://erinmccolecupp.com/?p=1563.

And while you are there, please check out Erin’s blog and her books. I’ve read her books and she is a terrific writer.

And Erin, if you read this, hurry up and finish that sequel! I can’t wait to read it!

 

Motivation Folder

I am always on the lookout for motivating and inspiring quotes, tips and advice.

I find reading about how other writers work inspiring. I love essays about writing and the writing life. Stories about perseverance keep me going too. Good tips about the mechanics of writing are helpful.

I subscribe to a couple of writing magazines and find that I’ll mark the pages of articles that I want to go back and read again. If it’s a whole article then I’ll dog-ear the page. I’ve also gotten into the habit of keeping a highlighter with me while I read the magazine and will highlight whatever I want to look at again later.

Sometimes it’s a whole article and sometimes it’s a paragraph, a sentence or a quote that I love. It may be a web address or marketing information. Then I end up putting the magazines in a pile telling myself that I’ll get back to them soon. The next thing I know, I have a few unsightly piles of old magazines taking up space and collecting dust. Does anyone else do this?

I’m trying to stay ahead of this. After all, I don’t want to turn into a hoarder! I try to go through those magazines a few times a year. I turn to the marked pages looking to see what I found so fascinating. I also make it a point not to look at anything else in each issue; otherwise I get sidetracked and never accomplish anything!

I glance at whatever I marked quickly. If I don’t get hooked right away then I decide that I don’t need it. When I do find something worth keeping I tear that page or pages out and recycle the rest of the magazine. It’s amazing how much I can get through this way. No more piles of saved magazines!

I put these saved gems into a folder that I can glance through at any time.

What I find great about doing this is when I find myself unmotivated then I can just pull out my motivation folder and after reading a few pages I feel the inspired to get writing again.

Does anyone else have a motivation folder?