FRIDAY NOTES & NEWS: Two Weeks into NaNoWriMo


CommuterLit editor & publisher

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this November will be the first time I’m participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and we’re one week in to it now. To keep up, you have to write 1,600-odd words a day, so at the end of the month you have a 50,000-word draft. How good that first draft is is another question.

I know the draft is not supposed to be perfect. But my usual way of working is writing a section over and over again until it shines before going on to the next section. You can’t do that in NaNoWriMo. You’d fall behind. And so for me, the exercise is one of relearning how to write — freeing myself of the need for perfection and silencing my inner critic that has me rejecting sentence after sentence in my head before typing even one word on the screen. Changing my process is hard. I keep reminding myself I can go back and change all of it after the end of November, that these words I’m writing every day are not set in stone.  And in fact, they feel very fluid,  like an exploration of who my characters are and where they might lead me. Yes, I have a plot outline, but I’m becoming open to the possibility that another, better story might emerge through this exercise. 

I don’t know whether my NaNoWriMo experiment will lead to a publishable novel, but I’m having fun. Oh, and so far I’ve managed to keep up.

Anybody else have a NaNoWriMo experience to share? Email me.

CommuterLit’s Upcoming Holiday Gift Guide
Thanks to everyone who has sent me your book info to be included in our upcoming Holiday Gift Guide. There’s room for more book listings — please send us by end of day Saturday, Nov. 26 — an image of your front cover (jpg); 50-word promo blurb; link to purchase; and indicate genre and audience. Email me with this info.

Contributor News
Sylvia Barnard will be signing her book, Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Willows, at Chapters in Sudbury, Ontario, on November 19 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. She will also hold a talk and sign books, at the Barrie (Ontario) Library, Main Branch, 60 Worsley St., on December 3 from 2 – 4 pm.

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