Show up, Shut up and Put Out


National Novel Writing Month Challenge



The title of this post is not about what you might think.

Last week I signed on—once again—to take on the National Novel Writing Month ( challenge that takes place every November, and has since 1999.

In order to “win,” you have to input 50,000 new words of a novel draft between November 1st and November 30th.  I’ve participated and won twice now—the first time in 2004 and again in 2007. The novel I drafted in 2004 I have finished, and revised, and edited, and re-finished and revised and edited (you get the idea-right?) to the point that the novel is the current one that I am hunting for an agent and/or publisher for these days.

I entered that particular manuscript in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Competition in 2008, and out of the 5,000 entries, it survived the first round of cuts to be among the 800 semifinalists that were chosen. The manuscript that finally took first prize that year featured a protagonist who sprayed the “f-bomb” in the opening pages like it was pigeon feed. Shows you what I know—right?

I have two other writing friends who are going to take on this craziness this month as well, along with literally thousands of writers around the world. And the only way we’ll be able to crawl through the finish line at midnight on November 30th is if we show up, shut up and put out—lots and lots and lots of words. Not perfect words; just words.

It really can be done. We’ll tell the critical self-editor-demon nagging at us behind our chairs to take a hike and we’ll support each other on the NaNoWriMo forums and in coffee shops, and through emails.

I’ve got the laundry done, the bills are paid, the house is clean and the yard work caught up for this week. I have to conduct an interview tomorrow for a last-minute paying gig that came in—that article will be due on the editor’s desk by Wednesday night. I’ll make it. I tutor on Tuesday afternoons. We do not live on take-out food. I have no idea what else life will toss in to complicate the month, but I know one thing: I Will Write.

I’ll post my progress as the month goes.

Wish me well? Or–join me? It’s not too late!  ;-}


2 thoughts on “Show up, Shut up and Put Out

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