Join Me for NaNoWriMo


Let me just say the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Fall Conference was weekend of awesomeness. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this conference, it’s a combination of great camaraderie with other Wisconsin writers (and illustrators), super smart national-level faculty, and break-out sessions that allow us to fine-tune our writing craft.

At the beginning of the conference we always have some kind of mixer. (Thank you MJ Diem for your tireless energy and sense of fun for coming up with these!) This year we were given phrases that might or might not describe our writing personalities or habits. If the ones you received were NOT applicable, you could search for the ones other people were wearing that suited you better. THEN you had to bargain to make an exchange. I received these two in the beginning and WOULD NOT PART WITH THEM! The caffeine one was a given and the other one just made me laugh – because that’s about how I feel about the majority of my writing! (But, then again, isn’t that what fiction’s all about??)

I always come home from this conference a little tired but full of great ideas and a desire to get immediately back to my writing. Unfortunately, time does not always permit me to jump right into applying what I’ve learned (or been reminded about) in the days following.  Right now, I’m working hard promoting Circle of Nine – Beltany which was officially released last Friday.  BUT – I’m making big plans to get back to writing in earnest in November.

This week is busy with a radio appearance tomorrow on the Book Nook segment of WBEV’s morning program from 10:05 to 10:25, a Young Adult Author’s Panel and Book Signing at the Cedarburg Public Library on Saturday from 1 – 3 pm, and my own Book Launch and Signing Party at Julie’s Java House in Columbus from 1:30 – 4 pm on Sunday.

So lots to do—but I’m definitely itching to get back to my work in progress which has been on the back burner for weeks now.  It’s nearly November—a great time to start a writing goal—at least if you’ve ever heard of National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. I learned about this interesting idea years ago and to be honest, it scares the bejeezus out of me. In summary, you are supposed to start on November 1 and write approximately 1600 words per day and by the end of the month you’ll have a 50,000 word rough-draft of your novel. YIKES!

This year I am not shying away – I’m not pooh-poohing this idea as too impossible, but I am personalizing my own NaNoWriMo goal. (I don’t know if I am allowed to do that—but again—this is fiction and I can do anything I want, right??) Instead, I will take my work-in-progress middle grade manuscript and edit the first nine chapters and write the remaining seven or eight chapters, so I have a third completed novel by the end of the month of November.  Big breath . . . slowly exhale. . . repeat “I can do this” a bazillion times during the next 30 days.

I will not be alone in this endeavor. Locally, the Beaver Dam Arts Association, Wayland Academy, and Beaver Dam Community Library are collaborating to create a wonderful NaNoWriMo program for area writers. Their schedule even includes a visit from the perpetually funny and brilliantly witty Wisconsin author Michael Perry at Wayland Academy on November 14.  This event is open to the public and even if you aren’t a writer, I encourage you to attend. Perry’s novels are all about Midwest living and are extremely entertaining given his power to see humor in everyday situations. (Can you tell I’m a fan??)

I promise to keep you up to date on my progress throughout the month AND I invite anyone who has ever wanted to write anything to join me in November. Set your own goals for the month (or use the NaNoWriMo goal) and let’s get writing!  

If you’re joining me on this month-long adventure, use the comment field below to let me know!


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