November is National Novel Writing Month, fondly known by those of us who have participated in this frantically fun-filled activity as NaNoWriMo. One promises to write a huge number of words (whatever your heart desires) during the month of November. Ostensibly, we write an entire book front to back (or whichever order happens) in a month. I assume they chose November because it contains a four day holiday so that we aren’t spending the entire month writing on company time and because it is so close to the end of the year that we can fit any unfinished business from this exercise into our New Year’s resolutions. Since my problem has always been that pesky internal editor who is constantly screaming, “Stop! That isn’t nearly good enough!” NaNoWriMo allows me to write what that IE would consider truly horrible prose, which I can then spend December sculpting into truly awesome work.
My NaNoWriMo pledge is to finish two novels that have dragged out far too long — both over half done with no good excuse for not seeing “The End” typed out in all its glory on the final page. I also hope to blog more, but fiction will take first place in my priority schedule.
To celebrate the kickoff of NaNoWriMo, I attended my second meeting of the Houston chapter of SCBWI. Bridgette Mongeon was the speaker. The topic, Marketing, is one which strikes fear in the very heart of every artist and writer. (Fear of Marketing resides right next to the Does-That-Look-Right? Grammar Center, my own personal meltdown instigator.) Her 100 ways to market includes many I’ve used — and many I had not yet thought of. The best part about attending this excellent meeting was the energy I took home with me. Getting together with other folk who get what I do is so very important. I’d stopped doing this — and thus had forgotten just how important this is to help feed my writing. If you are out there writing on your own — stop. Search for a writer’s group with members doing similar things — then attend. If there isn’t already a group in your area, then start one.
Now. Off to pound out 3,500 words to keep up with my NaNoWriMo goal.