But first, we want to say a big THANK YOU to Laura for hanging out with the Fiction Flurry crew this week. We've had a lot of fun working with Laura and hope she'll come back again soon - maybe when her new book ROGUE ORACLE is released? What do you say, Laura?
Followers, if you want Laura to return, please make her feel welcome by commenting generously. As an added bonus, anyone who comments (on any of Laura's posts this week) will TRIPLE their chances of winning Laura's newest book, SPARKS. Laura is giving away an autographed copy of SPARKS to one lucky winner this week. See the Contest Tuesday post for additional details. (and if you missed it, check out Laura's interview here.)
So now, the moment you've all been waiting for....Laura, the blog is yours.
Why I Love NaNoWriMo
The blank page is the most intimidating force in the universe to me.
It says nothing, and it's likely to say nothing. I fight against all that white space, trying to fill it, wondering how a ream of blank paper becomes a book. I used to take years to finish a book. I'd pick it up, put it down. I'd ignore it for weeks or months. I'd lose my place, go back, get sucked into editing. I'd wander into internet research, never to return. I had no deadline, nothing external to make me finish.
A friend in my writer's group mentioned National Novel Writing Month. I wrinkled my forehead and asked her:
"It's an online challenge to write fifty thousand words in a month."
That sounded like a complete impossibility. After all, it took me YEARS to finish a book. How could anyone possibly do fifty thousand words in A MONTH? In a month, with a full-time job and other commitments?
"Sure. You should try it."
I was doubtful. Really skeptical.
But I gave it a shot.
And I learned more in that crazy month than I did in years of plinking around with the same book. Laundry piled up. Sleep was at a premium. But I learned the most important secrets to writing a novel that contributed to me becoming a published writer:
- Integrating writing into my daily life. NaNoWriMo requires that one keep a pace of around 1600 words a day. It became easier and easier for me to fold that into my life, to keep the momentum going.
- Suspending the dreaded inner editor. My inner editor can become quite vicious. NaNoWriMo allows me to hold her at bay for weeks, allowing me to get the skeleton of a story down on the page.
- NaNo taught me to finish. Completing a manuscript is the most important thing that a writer can do to further her career. And doing it again. And again.
I use the skills I learned in NaNoWriMo in all the novels I write. I've learned to write quickly, to write daily, and to complete a story over and over. At the end of NaNoWriMo, I certainly don't have a complete eighty thousand word manuscript. But I have the skeleton of a book, something that I can build upon.
And I'm no longer facing the terror of the blank page. I know that it won't be blank for long. Within a few weeks, I'll be on my way to something wonderful.
Well said, Laura! For more information on Laura and her books, check out her website.
So tell us, are planning on participating in NaNoWriMo? Have you participated in the past? We would love to hear about your experiences.