Reading & Writing

NaNoWriMo Recap

cropped-pen-and-paper.pngI have to confess something, you guys.

I totally failed at NaNoWriMo this year.

I was doing so well for the first week, never letting anything get in my way–you could practically hear “Eye of the Tiger” playing in the background. When I didn’t know what to write I wrote anyway. I really started developing my characters.

Then I realized that my characters were me and my husband and it was getting too personal and convoluted and I was using it as therapy and I really didn’t want to write this story because it dug too deep and it felt inaccurate and I got overwhelmed. I tried to switch gears, start a new project. Then I got busy. I did what I told you all not to do; I skipped a day. Then I skipped another. I slid all the way down that slippery slope.

BUT: Do you remember what I said about NaNoWriMo being a writing exercise more than a quick way to produce a novel? Even when you don’t finish it, it is. And the point of writing exercises is to open up your creativity, give you fresh ideas, and maybe help you learn about yourself as a writer. For me, it was the latter. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Recap”

Reading & Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Skip to the End

IMG_0454You are almost there, you NaNoWriMo-er, you. Just one more day! You will make it to that finish line. You WILL.

But you might be having trouble. You might be exhausted.

Here’s what you’re gonna do. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Skip to the End”

Reading & Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Something Sweet


How’s it going, writer? Are the keys still clattering, the pens still scratching? I hope so. It’s pretty amazing to push through a challenge like this. There are low points, yes, but I think overall it gives you confidence. At the end, you get the runner’s high of knowing you finished a marathon. I know from experience: that feels amazing.


I want you to reward yourself today. If I could, I would give each and every one of you a piece of your favorite candy and a high five. (And if you don’t like candy, you weirdo, I guess I’d give you…um…bacon?) Obviously, I can’t do that (though if you know me personally, feel free to hold me to my word) but I can encourage you to get yourself a treat, sit down, and savor it. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Something Sweet”

Reading & Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Go Somewhere Beautiful


We are smack in the middle of NaNoWriMo, and by now you’re probably getting tired. Maybe you know where your plot is going; maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re getting a little sick of your characters, or you feel like you’re just a robotic typing machine and writing has become little more than a chore you grudgingly get through each day. Maybe you’re thinking that NaNoWriMo is a joke, and whatever reasons you had to start this challenge now seem thin and brittle.

You could quit. Popular wisdom aside, quitting is ALWAYS an option. You didn’t pay anything to do this (unless you donated, but that’s a charitable thing, not an entrance fee) and unless you’ve plugged into the network of NaNo enthusiasts (which it’s never too late to do), no one is really expecting you to finish.

Self care is important. If it’s killing you, why continue?

But is it really killing you? Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Go Somewhere Beautiful”

Reading & Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Get Your Protagonist in Trouble

IMG_0659Here you are, typing away, the words flowing out of you because you are a writer and you’re devoted to your craft and you are going to be the next Pulitzer Prize winner and this might be the novel to do it when—


You hit a writer’s block.

These things happen. Normally, you might move on to another project or wait a few days or take in a movie or read a book–whatever you need to get inspired again. But it’s NaNoWriMo. You made a promise to yourself. You’ve got a word count to fulfill. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Get Your Protagonist in Trouble”

Reading & Writing

How to Win NaNoWriMo

blogger-chicken.pngHappy November!

Halloween has come and gone and today, All Saints Day, thousands of writers across the country are firing up their word processors for the first day of NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month.

If you’re not familiar with NaNoWriMo, here’s the gist: to participate in the official NaNoWriMo competition, you go on the website, create an account, and then spend the next 30 days hammering out 50,000 words of fiction. Continue reading “How to Win NaNoWriMo”