Monday, October 20, 2008

Hanging out in your blindspot

You know, today started off great. I finished the book I'm about to review. I went to the grocery store and the bank. I got ready for work and I was looking alright and my hair, for once, wasn't being weird...

And then, on the way to work, a dump truck merged into me on the highway. I am ok, but my car is pretty messed up. Messed up to the point where we have a rental car. A rental car with NO CD PLAYER. So I'm stuck with no CD player during NPR pledge week. Really, facing down a week of Diane Reihm telling me about how awesome the WAMU travel mug is, that's the worst part of this whole thing.

ANYWAY! The book I finished reading and want to tell you about!

Are y'all gearing up for National Novel Writing Month? (aka NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo) Have you even heard of NaNo?

Basic premise is that the biggest barrier to writing your novel is spitting out that first draft, and given that all first drafts are shit anyway, it's just about getting it out. So, in November, tens of thousands of people try to write a 50,000 word book. In one month.

It's pretty intense and pretty fun. I have yet to "win" (I usually peter out around 20-25,000) but it is lots and lots of fun.

And, if you're reading to belly up to the challenge this year, you first must read

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days Chris Baty

Baty is the founder and head of NaNo and this book is less a "how to write a really good book" type book and more of a "how to write 50,000 words in one month book."

You don't *have* to read this if you want to NaNo, but I think you should. (It's chock full of stuff I wish I had known the other years I participated.)

The first half of the book explains the premise and ways to succeed. The second half has a chapter for every week with pep talks, ideas, and common stumbling blocks for that week. It's silly and irreverent, much like the NaNo experience itself.

NaNo is a lot of fun, and I know a lot of teachers actually have their entire class participate. I highly recommend it, and if you're thinking about it, be sure to check out this book to pump you up and help you out.

Is it November yet? I'm ready to go!!!

Nonfiction Monday Round up at Picture Book of the Day.


Kelly said...


I have NO time, but NaNoWriMore is calling me too!! What should I do?

Abby said...

Jennie, add me as a writing buddy! I'm abbydarling on NaNo. :D

Jennie said...


Do it! Even if you don't get all 50,000, you still at least have 15,000 or 20,000 or whatever more than you would have!

Also, when I tried that excuse last year, Molly came back with "E. Lockhart wrote her first book while writing her dissertation."

I have way too much going on in November, but I'm still doing it. Last year it was a reward--if you finish reading this article, you can spend 30 minutes writing!

Abby--I will add you once I figure out how! If I never figure it out, add me! I'm kidsilkhaze!

cessie said...

I like the idea and was thinking about it! Sounds tempting when so many people are doing it as well :-)