Helpful Articles plus a Reminder

Today’s post is a two-part blog. First, I’m calling all NaNoWriMo fans! It’s almost that time again: National Novel Writing Month. Second, I’ll give you links for articles on writer burn-out, boundaries for writers, writing every day for a year, and ten skills every writer needs.

First Things First

I wanted to remind you that November will be here sooner than you think. According to their website, “National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30. Want to try? Or just curious exactly how it works? Then read “How NaNoWriMo Works in Ten Easy Steps.” 

I’ve participated three times in NaNoWriMo, and each year was better. If you’re an organized writer who uses an outline–even a brief one–NOW is the time to be planning your November novel (or two novels, if yours will be in the 25,000-word range.)

The first year I did no planning, and I quit after a week or so. The second year I had an idea, and I made it through the month successfully, but most of that novel got thrown away because it had no real structure. My third year was the most successful because I had the books more planned out before I started. (If you’re not a planning kind of writer, then this advice won’t apply to you.)

However, if you’re like me and don’t like to waste writing time (or just don’t have time to waste), then get going now. Give yourself a couple weeks now to work out an idea–or rework an idea you’ve been toying with already. Then take October to do your pre-writing: character sketches, plot ideas, setting research, and a rough outline. Then, on November 1, you’ll be ready to hit the keyboard!

Secondly, for your weekend reading pleasure…

  • We’ve talked often of being able to set boundaries so that we have time to write. Here’s an article that tells you how–including actual “scripts” for various situations. It’s called “Setting Boundaries & Saying No…Nicely.”
  • “Writing for 365 Days in a Row” is one writer’s way of finding accountability for getting the writing done. For his explanation of why he’s doing this, see his “Day 1″ post. This is something you could do alone or with a friend, I would think.
  • “The Art of Avoiding Burn Out” is full of good reminders about taking care of yourself so you survive the writing life in the long haul. There’s a lot of wisdom packed into her lengthy list of suggestions.
  • “Ten Skills Every Writer Needs” has to do with surviving and thriving in the writing life. I imagine there are more than ten skills needed, but this is an excellent beginning!

Read and enjoy! And then start planning for NaNoWriMo!

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