Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ready. Set. Go.

If you are reading this and participating in NaNoWriMo, shame on you. Quit procrastinating and get your 1667 words in. Come back when you’re finished.

With the stroke of midnight, NaNoWriMo has arrived. The local Salt Lake region had a virtual kick-off last night. At 11:30 they gathered in a chat room and hung out until the official start, at which point those late nighters got started. Not me. I was in bed energizing for a decent start this morning. 

The NaNo site offers support and encouragement along with some planned events, including write-ins. This is when reclusive writers join other solitary writers in a central location, laptops in hand, and ignore each other and write. There are different locations throughout the valley, but they will occur every Saturday at either the City Library or City Creek Harmon’s store from 2-5pm. Checking the NaNoWriMo site would be the best way to know when and where write-ins near you will occur. I’ve never attended the write-in sessions. Think I’ll give it a try this year.

The Salt Lake region also plans a Half-Way Write-In and Party on Nov. 14. The write-in will occur at the South Jordan Library and the party happens at The Pie near by. They also have scheduled a Last Chance Write-In for  Nov. 30.  

This blog’s Scott Rhoades offered NaNoWriMo tips on Carol Lynch Williams’ blog, Throwing Up Words. (He also had some advice on Wednesday here for people who can’t participate but still want to get the most out of writing this month.) Scott suggests following a daily routine in which you write at the same time. Whatever works best for you - early morning, late a night, an hour lunch break. You should minimize distractions during the time. Ignoring email notifications and texts are hard. Ignoring the kids is impossible. Family obligations can’t be put off for 30 days, but if you can get your family to leave you alone during your set writing time, then you can resume your normal role with them afterward. Scott also advises to take breaks. That could mean write for an hour, rest for five minutes repeat. Again, find something that works for you.

The only other thing I can add would be to know what you’re going to accomplish before you sit down at the computer. Spend the first five minutes of your day jotting a quick description of the scene you hope to write. Those five minutes will be returned in greater productivity. 

Other than that, the rest is up to you. Good luck to all.

(This article also posted at

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