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Welcome Nanowrimo 2017!

NANOWRIMO!!! WOOT!

NaNo-2017-Participant-Badge

This is the year! This is the year that I write fifty thousand brand new words in one month!

I’ve participated in National Novel Writing Month several times. Including the year, a very long time ago, when I didn’t sign up on the website but I tried to write something, anything, that looked like a novel. Needless to say, that year wasn’t my greatest success. But this year will be.

Why?

Because I’m an experienced Nanowrimo writer now. And I understand my writing process. You see, some people can write their minimum 1,667 words per day and make it to 50k. Not me. If I try to do that, I’ll hit a day when I don’t write at all, and then the next day I need to do 3,333 to catch up. But something will happen, and I won’t, so then I’ll need 5,000 words in one day. And we all know that that’s a lot of words.

Can I do this? Let’s look at the stats:

The most words I’ve ever achieved during a November Nanowrimo is back in 2012 when I wrote GOLDI‘s rough draft of 21,588. I’ve done more during Camp Nano, mostly because the month is not interrupted by a major holiday, like Thanksgiving. During Camp Nano, my record was this summer when I wrote 41,220 and completed a rough draft of PACK ENFORCER.

If I can do 41,220 words in a month, than 50k is totally doable!

So, here’s the plan:

  1. Have a cohesive idea for the book
  2. Outline the book (okay, I do a very loose outline of story beats, but it works!)
  3. write as much as I can during the first three weeks

Yeah, having a major holiday in November sucks for me because I have Thanksgiving for the extended family at my house, but there is no reason I can’t do this. It will just take strategic planning.

Hence, the rest of the plan…

  1. Shop for Thanksgiving early
  2. Follow the Fly Lady’s holiday prep plan
  3. Delegate
  4. Don’t stress!

I have a plan, I have an idea. Now, all I have to do is get some kind of an outline in place so I can hit the ground running on November 1st.

Who’s with me????

*****

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

 

Your Jessica Aspen Starter Library is waiting.

Click HERE to discover Jessica Aspen’s fast-paced world of paranormal romance

jessica aspen starter library

 

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NaNoWriMo is Coming…Are Your Prepared?

Moonday Mania

some NaNoWriMo ispiration!

black nanowrimo winner t shirt

Have to win Nano this year because the shirt is amazing!

National Novel Writing Month is almost upon us and I’m so not ready! I’m working hard on my third book in the Tales of the Dark Court series, but for NaNoWriMo you really should start a new book fresh on November first, and then work through to the end of the month. Usually I have an outline and I’m ready to go, but not this year. So I thought I’d put together a mash-up of some advice out there on getting going with Nano and help jump start my writing.

Post one: Bob Mayer

If you are an author and haven’t heard of Bob’s fabulous writing course, Write It Forward, then click on the link and you too can be posting fabulous Bob quotes on your refrigerator. It’s not really a course on how to write, but on how to move your writing career forward. Actually, it can apply to almost anything in your life you need help moving forward on. Now Bob has a NaNoWriMo Survival Kit with not only Write it Forward, but also How to Write The Book: The Novel Writer’s Toolkit and How to Succeed in Today’s Digital World: How We Made Our First Million on Kindle. All for $9.99. Frankly, I’d pay that for just Write it Forward, so I think it’s a fabulous deal.

He’s also blogging about writing and has fabulous Nano tips on his blog. You can check out his post on Why Do You Write and get started getting motivated for Nano!

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/nanowrimo-why-do-you-write/

Post two: Bella Andre.

The folks at Nanowrimo recruit “pep talker authors to send emails to your inbox throughout the month of November. Now, you have to wait until Nano actually starts to get this year’s fabulous line up, but if you go to the Nano site you can read past years and get motivated. I saw Bella Andre talk at this summer’s RWA writer’s convention and she is amazing! Not only is she beautiful and multi-published, but she is a go-getter. Reading that she has trouble getting writing really made me realize that I’m not alone. Everyone struggles. Even authors who write 11 books in 30 months. Go figure! Click on the link below and check out her 2013 Nano pep talk.

http://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks/bella-andre

Post three: Julie Daines

And last, but not least, some tried and true tips to get you started from author Julie Daines. What I think is cool about Julie is that ALL of her published books are Nano books. Just imagine if you did that, every year you would publish at least one book. Love it! My goals are to publish at least one full length book and one short one every year, but imagine if I could add in one more and write and publish three a year. I could Nano a short in the fall, and Nano a short at Camp Nano in the spring. It’s got me thinking!

While you’re on Julie’s site make sure you check out her pictures of her ideal house at the bottom of her home page. I want to live there too!

http://www.juliedaines.com/2014/10/nanowrimo-tips.html

So, are you going to Nano now? I’m working on getting my word count up when I sit down to write. I’m now at 1,600+ every time I write. That’s really good for Nano. Now I need to work on getting that done every day. Or get that number up to 3k!

Tell me your Nano plans. Are you going to try it? Have you Nano’d in the past? How did it go?

Still need some help? Check out the Nano Prep Page HERE and get started today!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Nanowrimo Wrap-up

Moonday Mania

a random blog about writing

It’s over! JumpMy first Nanowrimo. And it was a pretty interesting experience. I was pretty sure that working full time during November was going to mean I would not hit the 50k mark, but what I didn’t know was how close I could have gotten.

Now, before you get too excited, my total word count was 21,588 total words written on my ms during November. Not even close to fifty thousand. But about 14,000 of those words were written in the very last week. Imagine if I’d been able to apply myself the entire month the way I did at the end. And I could have.

I could have gone to the coffee shop two nights a week and the library one day on the weekend and I think that would have made the difference. So I’m going to try again. Even if I work full time next year, I’m going to try for the whole shebang. I think I can do it.

This past week I have written a minimum of 3,000 words every day. And some days it was very hard. But other days I ended up surpassing my daily goal and it wasn’t difficult. So I’m going to try to keep up that kind of speed all year.

Will I hit 3,000 words every day. No, I know I won’t. But it’s going to be my new word count goal, when I’m not working. And when I am working? I’m not sure yet. I have until March to decide, so we’ll see how it goes.

And as for my 21,588?

Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop

Coming December 14th! Prizes galore!

It wasn’t 50k. It wasn’t my goal of 30k, that I thought I set as my goal while I worked. But it is 21,588 more words than I wrote last November. And I learned I could write during November and while I worked. So I’m happy.

Have you ever set a goal that you didn’t meet, but you will still satisfied with the results. Do you get down on yourself when you miss a goal, or do you look for what you can use from the experience? Does it make a difference if you expected to hit the goal?

Don’t forget there will be lots of prizes during the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop! Hop on by on December 14th!

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey

Closing in on Nanowrimo (or not)

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers

Want to see how you do with deadlines? Want to push your boundaries and act like an author who has to turn in the full ms by the end of the month? The end of November is approaching and the close of National Novel Writing Month. One of the interesting things that is happening is how people react to a deadline. Those who are close to the fifty thousand word goal are pushing hard to finish. But those who aren’t close? Well, they have a variety of reactions.

There are the one’s who just give up. They know they can’t possibly hit 50K by the end of the month so why bother? These Nanoites just stop. It might be that they stop early, once they realize the month is not going to end like they want it too. It might be that they are giving up this week. When they realize they only have four more days left to cram an extra 25K in, and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

Then there are the ones who push on, no matter what. They resolutely keep struggling to finish. Even though they, and anyone who is sane, should know it ain’t gonna happen. But that doesn’t matte to them. They might make it! And if they don’t, they are sure going to be able to say they tried.

Of course there are the people like me. I never expected to actually finish the entire 50k this month. I knew going in that I was commuting, and working, and had other obligations that would make 50k impossible. But, I wanted to give myself a boost this month. Last November I didn’t write anything. Not one word. I know there are writers out there who work full time and still churn out books. That ain’t me.

Thanks Writertopia!


So, I set the goal of trying to finish a 30k ms instead. But I knew I might hit some bumps. And I did. My edits came in during week two and while they were extremely light, they still took some time. My CP (the amazing ML Guida) needed some editing done. So I took some time to do that. I could have said no, but she helps me out when I’m in a crunch. And I knew I wasn’t going to come close to finishing Nanowrimo.

So we come to the people like me. Great first week, declining second week, non-existant third week. Should have caught up over Thanksgiving, but I spent time with my family instead. So here I sit with 6963 words done out of my 30k goal. But I have four days left! So I’m going to be one of those optimistic people trying to push to at least get something done so my word count looks less pitiful. I figure I can reach 10k easily, so the goal is to hit 15K before the end.

And possibly 20K. If nothing crops up. Sure.

How do deadlines work for you? Does it make a difference if it’s set by someone else? What about deadlines that are for work or family members? Are you like me and put off the self-imposed deadlines for the “real” deadlines? What does this mean for your career?

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Grow up!

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers et al

Why does it take so long to grow up? IMG_0500I think it might take my entire lifetime to learn things I should have learned earlier. Like the fact that all the things that didn’t fit into a “normal” job do fit into my dream job of being a writer. I’m a jack of all trades, maven, daydreamer. None of that applies to real life, but it sure fits being a writer. Just wish I’d listened to my heart twenty years ago, instead of all the people who said “writing doesn’t pay.” No, it doesn’t, but neither does half-heartedly doing the day job.

And that’s what I do right now. I show up. I do the day job. But while I’m there I dream of being here, at my computer, doing all the myriad things that add up to a writers life. Including writing. One would think that I would be one of those people who can write while working, but it doesn’t turn out that way. That’s why I’m trying NANOWRIMO this year. (Check out my progress HERE.)

You see, my day job is  full time for part of the year. Yeah, you read that right. So, during November I’m working full time, but during December through March, I will not be working at all. Then I’ll be back at work through July.Working

It’s crazy, but for me it works. Why? Because remember, I’m no good at writing while I’m working. Nano is applying pressure to me this month. We’ve hit the middle of the month and I am over 5K now. That sucks for Nano, but it’s actually great for me. Last November, when I worked, I wrote zero words. That’s right, zero. I did blog three times a week and I edited for my CP at the time, and I kept up with some other writing related jobs, but I didn’t write. And that is the job.

See CJ Lyons blog HERE for details on how a writer is successful by planting butt in chair. I need this on a big poster!

How am I growing up this month? Besides trying Nano and realizing that for me, 30k or 10k or even 5k is a win, it’s by cutting back on the blogs, (I will not be here on Thursday, Turkey day!) and focusing on what is important. Writing. Growing up means setting goals, trying to achieve them, and figuring out what the #$%* happened when you fail. Because right now I’m looking at not hitting 50k, or even the 30k that I thought I could try for while working. Am I still trying? Yes. But I’m also being realistic. If I want to hit anything more I need to pull up the big girl pants and say no to all the things dragging my attention away from writing.

In other words, time to grow up and get my writing groove on!

What has made you grow up lately? Do you even feel like a grown up? When does that happen? Does it ever happen?Low Resolution-4

Want to read another great post about growing up? Check out Kristen Lamb’s

Maturity–The Difference Between the Amateur and the Professional

FYI: I will not be posting on Thursday, Thanksgiving. Enjoy the pie! (All you Canada people already had yours, so back to work with you!)

 

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Why Every Writer Should Face Their Fear and #Nanowrimo at Least Once

Moonday Madness

a blog for writers about writing

I’ve avoided Nanowrimo for years. I did try once, a long time ago, when it was a much smaller event with just a few thousand people. But I didn’t even sign up or try to connect with anyone. I just decided I would do my best to try to write fifty thousand words in a month. I knew before I started that it would be a failure. And it was. I stopped after the first week.

So now I’m attempting it again!

Why would I do that?

Well, for one thing, I’m a different writer now. I actually have finished projects. Not just one, but several. I know my writing strengths and weaknesses better. Back then I was a seat of the pants, had no idea of my plot or characters, or even when I would sit down to write, kind of person.

Now, I know exactly how many words I can pound out in an hour, when I know my scene. I’ve learned all  about Goal, Motivation, Conflict and I’m deep in the middle of scene and structure immersion. All these things make my writing process smoother. So I should do better, right? Write!

But why should every writer try this? Why do I believe it will make a difference?

Deadlines.

Not only do I have a deadline as to when the 50k must be finished. I can’t even start early! I must do it within the 30 days. That’s pressure. That means no editing, no hand holding, no prioritizing cleaning the bathroom over my keyboard. (Sorry family, things are going to get dirty!)

Did you hear the no editing?

Did you hear deadline?

Did you hear no cleaning? (Okay, if you have time, maybe a little.)

This is what all my author friends sound like when they have a book to turn in and the deadline is approaching. For authors with a contract and a book to write to that contract. Every book is a Nanowrimo book!

They’re up at all hours, deep in the pressure cooker, trying to get those words on the page. They have to stick to their outline. Why? Because if they don’t they don’t have time to go back and fix it! They can’t listen to their inner editors (sorry Gloria, Gracie is in trouble when the contract arrives) because if they do they will not finish, let alone on time.

When you are unpublished, or like me, an author with books to write without a contractual timeline, then you can waste time on other things and no one gets upset. (Well maybe you do.) You can take the time to go to coffee with a friend and say, oh  those words can wait until tomorrow, because there is no one else telling you they must be done by Tuesday, or else!

Nanowrimo becomes the evil editor. The one who makes you turn your book in on time. She makes you think about your story line ahead of time, because if you don’t, you run the risk of not being able to write 1,666 words per day for 30 days. And she’s the one you blame when you turn your best friend down for coffee. Or don’t clean the kitchen. Or send out for take out again and again and again. It’s all the fault of your editor, the person who needs this book by Novemeber 30th or the sky will certainly collapse.

Once again, why should you all practice this? Because fake it until you make it is how we get to be better authors. Practicing being an author with a deadline helps you finish books. Then you have to start submitting them. Which we all know is the harder part of the equation and may be why that book doesn’t get finished in the first place. Face your fear and attempt Nano! I am.

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