It’s NaNoWriMo Time! Get your pens! Get your paper! Start writing!

Today begins another exciting month of WRITING for those participating in NaNoWriMo! I was lucky enough to be talked into participating again this year by some lovely people. While I’ve tried to scowl at these people over the week, I’m actually quite excited. I participated last year and even though I didn’t win — I petered out at about 43,000 words, unsure of where the story should go — I look forward to another (stressful) month of writing.

However! I have higher hopes for this year because I will have the motivation of friends. If you want to add me as a friend, visit my NaNo page at: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/kristilyn

Some book bloggers are participating, too! You can visit their pages below:

Amanda @ On a Book Bender
Shirley @ Creative Deeds
Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books
Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal
Hannah @ Once Upon a Time
Anne @ Creativity’s Corner
Christa @ Christa’s Hooked On Books
Jac @ For Love and Books
Jenn @ Owl Read It
Sarah @ Breaking the Binding

Are you a book blogger who’s participating this year? If you are, add me as a writing buddy! We can cheer each other on!

To get everyone in the writing mood, I thought I’d compile some of the writing advice that has come by the blog in the past year. I’ve had a few authors do Q&A’s and writing advice is one of my questions! So, without further adieu, here is writing advice from writers themselves: 

Jody Gehrman, author of Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft:

One: Write on a regular schedule. It shouldn’t be a chore, but it’s a skill like any other and it takes practice to get good.

Two: Surround yourself with people who support your writing dreams.

Three: Keep in mind that external validation (getting published, getting praise) can only take you so far. You have to love the process itself, savor it every day. That’s what keeps real writers coming back.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Jody

Wendy Higgins, author of Sweet Evil

Write. Don’t just think about writing. WRITE. And don’t expect perfection of yourself. That’s what the drafting/revision process is for. Getting the initial words written is the most vital step. Write what’s on your heart.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Wendy

Krista Holle, author of The Lure of Shapinsay

Write, write, write, and find good beta readers that aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings.   For every unflattering critique I’ve received, I’ve grown as an author.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Krista

Rhiannon Frater, author of the Pretty When She Dies trilogy: 

Just write. The amount of people who actually finish writing a novel is quite small. Writing is the trick to becoming a writer. I have talked to so many people who tell me they want to be a writer, but have yet to write a single word.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Rhiannon

Valerie King, author of The Gift of Fate

Never ever take no for an answer. If you have the dream to share the stories in your head, put pen to paper and do it. Life is about learning as you go. So is writing. Edit, re-edit and edit again. Can I say edit one more time? 

Read the rest of the Q&A with Valerie

Jen Wylie, author of Jump

The internet is your friend. If you want a career as an author, then do your homework. There are many, many blogs and articles on the business, how to edit and market and everything else. It’s not just about the writing. Of course the first thing.. FINISH THE BOOK!

Read the rest of the Q&A with Jen

Liz Reinhardt, author of Forgiving Trinity

Definitely. Write. Write every single day. And commit to finishing things. Start small if you need to. Finish a poem. Finish a short story. Finish a novella. But finish. I know so many people who have 30% of six books done. You. Need. To. Finish. Once you hit ‘the end,’ get a critique partner or a few. People you trust, people who love you and writing and reading. Listen to them!! Take their advice, even when it makes you want to cry. Go with your gut when it really matters, but try to be mostly open about taking risks. And just write more. I write every single day. Every day! And I plan to keep doing it for a long time to come.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Liz

Ram Sundaram, author of I Am Me

To keep writing! It sounds clichéd and too simple to be effective, but that’s really all you need. Reading is very important, yes, but so is spending quality time writing. Storytelling is essentially a skill, as is writing in general, and I believe it’s how we choose what story to tell that reflects “talent.” Eventually, you’ll figure out how you want to write and what kind of stories you want to tell, but for an aspiring writer, it’ essential to never get discouraged. All that’s important is that you keep on writing!

And a little tip if you want to write fiction: it helps to be empathetic. Sensitivity is of paramount importance to an artist, but so is empathy. If you cannot sincerely relate to another human being’s sorrow, joy, success or disappointment, then you can never successfully capture any real emotion on paper.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Ram

And for some MOAR advice (because we can’t have enough of it!), here are some links:

AND, if you’re looking for some inspiration from one of the top writers, I really recommend reading On Writing, by Stephen King. It’s a WONDERFUL read and full of tips and inspiration!

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? What kind of advice can YOU give to aspiring writers and all the participants this year? 


© 2012, Reading in Winter. All rights reserved.

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28 thoughts on “It’s NaNoWriMo Time! Get your pens! Get your paper! Start writing!

  1. I have participated in past years — it’s a lot of fun. And yeah, it’s pretty hard to win unless you can crank out hundreds of thousands of words. How do people do that? But I always felt like it was a win because I got more writing done than I would have otherwise.
    Have fun and can’t wait to see how it goes!

    • Thanks, Jen! I hope I can win this year — I can’t let myself lose focus! Though, having fun is KEY. I’m pretty happy that I have book blogging friends who are participating. Last year I went to a few municipal events, but didn’t leave really knowing anyone. Motivation from friends might help a lot!

  2. I haven’t participated before, and I know this month is going to be too busy for me, but I think I may give it a try next year, it sounds like a lot of fun!

  3. Yay! I’m NaNo-ing as well! It’s my first year and I hope I can crank out 50,000 words though! I’m adding you under Riseling! 🙂 Yay for writing buddies! I’ve started my story today and am at 2400 words, my plan is to start strong in case I get stuck 🙂

    Kristal from Owl Read It is also participating, he book sounds much better than mine. I’m glad she is doing it as well because she lives close by. The two of us are going to a write in tonight, should be fun 🙂

    Good luck!!!

    • Yay! I’ve added you, too! I’m happy you’re participating! You’re doing awesome already! I like to try and start strong, too — it just makes sense. Things come up and I’d rather be ahead than behind.

      That’s awesome that Kristal is doing it, too! It will be nice to have someone close by to cheer you on!

  4. Oh cool, I had no idea that you were a participant! The idea of Nano, writing a novel in a month, is just so exciting to me. And it’s so excellent that there’s a great support system of writers! Really, 43,000 words? I’m not sure how that could be considered a fail because I couldn’t imagine having the perseverance and work ethic to carry on more than a few days, so that is seriously good. Best of luck to you, Kristilyn!! Try not to stress too much and have fun!

    • Thanks, Aylee. 🙂 I think I was disappointed that I couldn’t reach the 50,000 word mark. Even if I don’t finish my story, I hope to WIN by reaching the word count this year!

  5. One of these days when I am not so busy I will participate in NaNoWriMo. I wanted to do it last year, but so much stuff happened. I second your opinion about Stephen Kings book though. I have it on my book shelf and I read it at least once a year. I may not have written a solid novel, but I really think the tips can be applied to all types of writing (fiction or non-fiction).

    Great (inspirational) post! 🙂

    • I hope you can! NaNo really is a lot of fun, so long as you don’t stress yourself out over it.

      And yes! The Stephen King book is AWESOME! I especially love reading about his history as a writer and how he didn’t just become an overnight success. It’s very inspirational!

    • I know what I’m writing about, but elements change as I go. Once I have a firm grasp, I might share. 🙂

      And I’m starting brand new! I do plan to revisit last year’s work and work on it, but not until after this month.

      Someone wins by hitting the 50,000 word mark. I hope to get there!

  6. Pingback: On a Book Bender

  7. Pingback: Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge (13) | Reading In Winter

  8. I’m really struggling this year! I’m very sure of this story but I’m lacking motivation and alertness. I can manage maybe 400 words at a time and then I get sleepy or lose my flow or just generally can’t think what comes next. Need to find some advice on how to overcome this problem because it’s my biggest cock-block right now.

    • Last year I had a lot of time to write and now this year I’m starting a new job, volunteering, and have other obligations. So, it takes me a while to get in the frame of mind TO write. Once I get going I’m not bad, but I’m not flying like I did last year.

      BUT, last year I also didn’t finish. And I didn’t have the support of friends like I do this year. Maybe it’ll go better?

      I totally get losing the flow. I was reading @WriMo this morning and it talked about just writing and not going back over what you wrote. I find that I have to go back over things to get back into the characters and the story. I can’t just sit down and CONTINUE to write until I get back in the story itself. I hope you can overcome your issue! Maybe find a different time of day to write? Or find a writing buddy?

  9. First off, great article. I have opened a whole bunch of new tabs with your recommended pages!
    Second off, Woot! Another Canadian Blogger! (I’m from Wpg) Even better a NaNoWriMoer. I’ve added you as a buddy (I’m Moonlight Raven). Hope you have a wonderful 2013 NaNoWriMo year!
    Third off, I look forward to reading more of your blog posts in the future.

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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