Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Saturday, 30 October 2010

NaNo Coundown

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Have you sharpened your pencils, charged up your laptop, got your special note book ready, chosen your lucky NaNo pen? I hope so, as the madness that is NaNo is about to descend upon us again. As of Nov 1st fellow writers around the world will come down with a strange but wonderful affliction: the urge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I, and some fellow bloggers and writers did this last year, but there have been many who have gone before us and done it time and time again. You would have thought they would have developed a vaccine by now to prevent this urge! But as they haven't, and there is no known cure we are compelled to do it again.

I really enjoyed it last year, despite the hard work  -  it was like trying to pull teeth, getting a couple of sentences out sometimes. But I ended up with a 75,000 word novel that I'm still editing now, a year after I first started it. So NaNo does get you writing. And I intend to edit the NaNo novel to see if what I have is worth sending out there. Who knows!

I also got an article out of it that was in Writers' Forum. And as I said in that article I'll be doing it again this year, I thought I'd better do it! I have a slight advantage in that I'm heading off to the depths of Wales next Friday for a long weekend writing retreat with my writing group, so I'll have some time to get a good head start. I'm so looking forward to the retreat (they are legendary!) Have a look on the Wrekin Writers' website and youtube channel for the evidence!

If you've done NaNo before and are doing it again this year may the force be with you! If you're a NaNo virgin, more power to your elbow and remember you will get plenty of support both here and on the NaNo website itself. If you're thinking about it but still not sure  -  DO IT! You'll have a lot of fun and learn a lot about yourself and your writing. You might even end up with a published novel out of it. It does happen  -  look on the NaNo website for examples.

My NaNo advice:

1.Pace yourself. Don't have a mad rush and then burn yourself out. Pick a reasonable word count each day and stick to it.

2. Have fun. It's not meant to make you miserable!

3.Just write. Even if you have no idea what you want to write about, just write a sentence, then another and another until you have your first paragraph and take it from there! I had no idea what I was going to write last year until my nosiness finally paid off and I was staring out my front window one day and inspiration struck!

4. Get support from your writing buddies and forums on the NaNo website, fellow bloggers, and writing friends who are doing the NaNo challenge and those who aren't.

5.Don't seek perfection. The idea is to just let go and write with wild abandon! You can tidy it up at the end.

Let me know how you get on!

Happy NaNo!

Julie xx

8 comments:

Christine said...

Good luck with it, Julie. I read your article in Writers' Forum and did think about joining in. I'll give it a miss this year because of having a novel already on the go and being in the middle of a writing course. However, I'm going to be joining you all in spirit by trying to increase my output during November and being more focused on writing.

Julie P said...

That's the spirit, Christine. Good luck with the novel you have on the go and the writing course. That's the beauty of NaNo. You don't have to do the full on 50,000 word in 30 days thing if you have other things on the go - but you can use the NaNo ethos to increase your own writing out put for that month.

Julie xx

Heather P said...

Hi Julie
Well, I am a virgin so you have inspired me to give it a go. Keeping fingers crossed for you though. How exciting to get a whole novel out. Whew!!

Julie P said...

Hi, Heather,

Yay! Go for it. Just let go and write, write, write. Don't get bogged down in the details, you won't have time for that. The trick is to keep writing and write yourself out of any tough spots.

I had a great time last year doing it and I can't wait for this year's to start.

Good luck

Julie xx

Diane Perry said...

Oh good luck Julie, you are brave going for it a second time! I can't wait for the retreat now, I will have to get some pics of you to show your journey of Nano!
See you next weekend
Di x

Julie P said...

Brave or incredibly stupid, Di!! It's going to be a great journey, though. I will be typing away, busily, tomorrow evening! Can't wait for retreat either - not long!

Julie xx

Simon Whaley said...

Keep those fingers typing!

Julie P said...

I've been typing for England, Simon! Well that was after I could drag myself out of bed, having contracted something dreadful - that's what Halloween does to you.

Shall be firing on more than one cylinder tomorrow though, I hope! I just wish my head would stop throbbing and I didn't feel as though I'm all at sea.

Julie xx