#NaNoWriMo2017 is Coming to an End!

Tomorrow marks the close of the 2017 National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and its participants’ pledge to write 50,000 words in 20 days. “Winners” (those who met or exceeded that goals) have already started to be recognized on the NaNoWriMo website.  If you’re one of those ambitious few (statistically speaking), congratulations; that’s impressive!  Many writers enter.  Much fewer cross the finish line.  But everyone who participates is a winner in our book, because NaNoWriMo is a stepping stone toward establishing a writing habit. As they say, a writer writes.  And in order to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days, you must force yourself to write every day.

That being said, 50,000 is no reason to stop writing. Books are rarely as short as 50,000 words, so crossing the finish line for NaNoWriMo is not the final step. The final step is completing a manuscript and then revising it, editing it, proofreading it, and then publishing it.  One doesn’t publish 50,000 words. One publishes a book.

In order for NaNoWriMo to accept your word count you need to cut and paste your manuscript into their word-count validator.  Sounds easy enough, but it’s surprising so many writers are so willing to give their hard work to an organization without a second thought.  Many writers exhibit hesitancy about sharing their work with publishers and that’s even AFTER a contract has been signed expressly protecting them and their copyrights.  No such agreement exists on the National Novel Writing website.

It’s clear that this issue has come up from time to time because on their forums, they provide a link to another website that “scrambles” your manuscript for the specific purpose of only providing your word count to NaNoWriMo, rather than a book that makes any sense.  But to do that, aren’t you submitting your manuscript to the 3rd party (who may hold even less legitimacy than NaNoWriMo)?

You’ll be happy to know that US Copyright protects you in these instances, as long as you can establish the date your manuscript was completed. Send it in its entirety to a friend via email, and keep the send-receipt.  Or use the “poor man’s copyright” and mail a hardcopy to yourself through the mail, and then keep the postmarked package unopened.  These are quick, easy, inexpensive measures you can take IF you are worried about NaNoWriMo or the 3rd party scrambler taking liberties with your work.  Or, you can rely upon the reputation of the NaNoWriMo organization and rest assured they have better things to do.  

For those of you who cross the 50,000 word finish line tomorrow at midnight… kudos!

nanowrimo 2017 winner


brent sampson
In 2002, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson founded Outskirts Press, a custom book publishing solution that provides a cost-effective, fast, and powerful way to help authors publish, distribute, and market their books worldwide while leaving 100% of the rights and 100% of the profits with the author. Outskirts Press was incorporated in Colorado in October, 2003.
In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Brent is an expert in the field of book publishing and book marketing. He is also the author of several books on both subjects, including the bestseller Sell Your Book on Amazon, which debuted at #29 on Amazon’s bestseller list. 

From the Archives: “How NaNoWriMo Can Explode Your Writing Career – Yes, Really!”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: October 19th, 2012 ]

National Novel Writing Month, shortened to the kitschy NaNoWriMo (nan-no-RYE-moe), is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that challenges writers to pen a whopping 50,000 words in the month of November. Though it started in 1999 with fewer than two dozen participants, it’s estimated that more than 200,000 speed-writers tackled the challenge in 2010.

NaNoWriMo can kick-start a newbie’s writing efforts, or helped experienced authors loosen up and try freestyle for a while. Many NaNoWriMo participants have even gone on to have their projects published! At the very least, the project is a great writing exercise – and an chance to promote yourself as an author or your future book. In the true spirit of this virtual writing challenge, use the Web to turn NaNoWriMo into a prime marketing opportunity.

  • Start by crowing about your plans. If you don’t already have one, build a blog page on WordPress or another free blog site. Give readers daily reports on what work you’re doing to prepare for NaNoWriMo. Perhaps you’re reading Moby Dick for inspiration, attended writers’ conference, or you’ve bought a new thesaurus. Bring your audience along with you and get them excited about your adventure. Duplicate your efforts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and any other social media platform you wish.
  • Solicit feedback. Engage your readers in the process by sharing potential plot points and asking them for their ideas. People love the be involved in the creative process, and you may be surprised what scintillating characters and plot twists could spin out of these virtual brainstorming sessions.
  • Poll your potential audience. Ask your friends and readers to answer simple, multiple-choice questions: Should my protagonist be male or female? Which name do you prefer for the main character? Should the hero get the girl – yes or no? It’s a quick way to get people invested in your success and to gather a general consensus when you’re not sure which path to take.
  • Choose cover art. This could be as simple as changing your Facebook photo for the duration of the NaNoWriMo challenge or as involved as designing a prospective book cover. The idea is to associate an image with your project that will set a tone, create an image, inspire you and engage your readers.

Once November 1 rolls around – and, trust me, it will sneak right up on you – it’s time to hunker down for real. To successfully complete the NaNoWriMo challenge, you’ll have to write consistently most days from November 1 through November 30. You’ll need to average 1,667 words per day to meet the 50K quota, more if you take any days off. That means at least a couple solid hours of writing most days. (And leave a little extra writing time to update your blog or Twitter followers and post progress reports on Facebook.) The trick is not to get caught up in achieving perfection in a few short weeks; the goal is a lot of words in a short time, so focus on quantity in November — you can sort out the quality later.

I highly recommend joining a regional group so you can communicate with other participants, listen to ideas, share writing tips and gather suggestions from others. Many past NaNoWriMo authors have valuable advice that can help you make the most of the NaNoWriMo experience.

Now get writing!

– by Elise L. Connors

On this, the second-to-last day of NaNoWriMo 2016, I thought we might take a quick peek back a the beginning of things—not because, at this point, any of us want to travel full-circle, but because sometimes it’s important to be thinking more in terms of beginnings than endings. (And trust me, there will be plenty of time to talk about what comes next over the coming weeks and months. We’ll be checking in with you on what you do with your NaNo projects, dear readers.)

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In the beginning, when you decided to dive into this NaNoWriMo thing, you were excited. Passionate. Completely blinkered to the outside world as you dove into this other world, the world of your own creation. (Even if you were writing about the “real world,” it’s never quite as magical as what you put down on the page, is it?) As the days passed, you began to feel the grip of pressure tighten and the weight of responsibility begin stalking you seriously down the block. And at some point or other, you considered giving up. Maybe you did, in fact, give up.

That’s okay.

But again, let’s go back to that beginning—where everything was golden and rose-colored glasses weren’t even necessary to see things as bright and full of opportunity. Every author needs that moment, once in a while, to reinvest the writing process with joy and meaning. And it’s so elusive, so fragile, so easily lost.

Don’t give up on yourself, even if you gave up on NaNoWriMo or your latest lengthy writing project. Don’t despair of never getting that golden moment back. It will come. It might take its time in coming, but it will come. It might crop up unbidden, or it might crop up as you work hard to cultivate it.

Whether you finished NaNoWriMo or not, go back to those early structures and habits and practices—like the one in Elise’s list from 2012, above—and evaluate: what worked? What hurt? What can you use or adapt moving forward? Don’t beat yourself up about what’s over and done and beyond altering; keep one eye on the past and one eye on the future, and you’ll find a way forward.

And as always, we’re here to help you with that.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

From the Archives: “Seven Ways to Make NaNoWriMo More Enjoyable”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: October 31st, 2012 ]

I am so proud of all the self-publishing authors who are beginning the NaNoWriMo challenge TOMORROW! It takes courage and dedication to commit to writing a book, especially when your timeline is only 30 days. To make the task easier, it is important to stay organized and focused. Here are seven tips to make the NaNoWriMo experience more enjoyable for all self-publishing authors.

1. Get in the “write” mindset. Before you begin each writing session, prepare yourself mentally. Everyone has a different approach that works for them. If you aren’t sure what is best for you, try different tactics. Some ideas include reading a few pages written by one of your favorite authors, listening to inspiring music, or doing a few yoga poses. The goal is to clear your  mind and get focused on your book.

2. Create a schedule and write it on the calendar. Decide exactly when and where you will write, and make sure friends and family know when you’ll be unavailable. You may have to pass on a few social events this month to fit in extra writing time. If you do have events you have to attend, schedule writing time elsewhere during that day.

3. Don’t forget about your outline. While your story may morph into something you didn’t expect, it is a good idea to keep the outline you created prior to NaNoWriMo on hand at all times. It is your road map to finishing your book and will keep you from getting off course. There will be time to make changes to your manuscript after NaNoWriMo has ended. For now, your goal is to finish the manuscript.

4. Keep an idea notebook with you at all times. As you write your story,  you may think of ideas for later chapters. Be sure to have a spot where you can joint down any ideas that come to mind. It is a good idea to keep this notebook with you even when you aren’t writing. Sometimes the best ideas appear when you aren’t working on your book at all.

5. Give yourself a break. Writing a book in a month is time-consuming. This is not the month to hold yourself to unrealistic expectations. It is okay to order take-out for dinner, accept your mother-in-law’s offer to switch your laundry, and let the kids watch an extra hour (or two) of TV. For now, focus all of your energy on your book.

6. Get moving. Sitting at a computer all day is tough on your body, so be sure to schedule in some time to exercise. Go a for a short walk, or do some stretches. Not only is it good for your body, but exercise can else help clear your mind and break through writer’s block.

7. Reward yourself. When you reach your writing goals each day, acknowledge your success and reward yourself. Treat yourself to a bubble bath, ice cream sundae, or other special reward. You deserve it.

Writing a book can be challenging, so you need to have a plan, be surrounded by supportive people, and take care of your mind and body. Doing so will help you stay on track and focus on your book. It is when we let ourselves become overwhelmed and exhausted that we aren’t able to stay organized and successfully finish our manuscripts.

I’d love to know, how do you plan to make NaNoWriMo more enjoyable?

– by Kelly Schuknecht

By  now you’re more than halfway through November and your NaNoWriMo challenge—congratulations!! I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this fantastic community of authors than I am today, in November of 2016. Let’s talk a little about how it’s going!

nanowrimo

(That badly, huh? Well, let’s hope not. There are a gazillion “Keep Calm and …” memes out there and I will use all of them if I have to in order to cheer you up and keep you motivated. I say “you” but really I mean “me, too.”)

What are the challenges we face most often in the midst of November? I can’t necessarily speak for you, but I can speak for myself and those writers who I keep in close contact with—and we all seem to suffer most from three concrete struggles:

  1. Low energy.
  2. Lack of direction.
  3. Low confidence.

You’ll note that all three of these issues are touched on, even if only obliquely, in my original post from 2012. The ways to conquer low energy include getting up and moving around and giving yourself a break. The ways to find a sense of direction include putting yourself in the “write” mindset and working from an outline (if you haven’t written one ahead of time, it’s still a good idea to set aside an hour or two to sketch out something mid-November). And the ways to combat low confidence? Let’s just say one of the first things I write in my “idea notebook” each year is a list of quotes and facts about authors I love, many of whom have faced the exact same challenges and overcome them.

There’s no one way to “Keep Calm and Carry On”—instead, there are many, many ways. Not all of them will work for you, and even the ones that used to work for you four or five years ago might not work now. I find that the older I become, the more I struggle with maintaining my sense of focus and direction, which puts the related coping mechanisms under a lot of strain. Take a moment this November to evaluate where you’re at and what struggles you face, and tailor your approach to those needs—objectively, and with an eye out for how you’ve changed. Consider it the writing equivalent of your yearly physical exam at the doctor’s!

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

From the Archives: “6 Ways to Keep Up the NanoWriMo Momentum”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: November 5th, 2012 ]

The first few days of NanoWriMo are now behind you. If you are like most writers, you probably started out enthusiastically and determined to reach your goal, but as the days go by, you may start to lose motivation and focus. You are not alone. If you want to ensure that you finish the first draft during NanoWriMo, consider these six tips.

1. Accept that it won’t be perfect. NanoWriMo more is about writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, but no  one ever said it has to be a perfect, ready to publish novel. This is a first draft, and like all first drafts, it will need work later. Right now, focus on finishing the 50,000 words. You can go back and make changes after the challenge.

2. Set daily goals. It can be overwhelming to think about writing 50,000 words in a month. Instead, focus on how many words you will write each day or during each writing session. This will help you break up the project into manageable steps and will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

3. Check out Write or Die. This is great software for self-publishing authors who are struggling to meet their goals. This creative software lets you enter a time or word count goal, and encourages you to accomplish it without letting your inner editor take over. After you’ve meet your goal, you’re praised by the sound of trumpets.

4. Turn off the internet! Email and social media sites are major time-suckers that distract from your writing. During writing sessions, do not let yourself use the internet. If you can’t resist the urge, consider software that blocks the internet during your writing sessions.

5. Set a timer. Instead of focusing on word count, let yourself freely write for a set period of time, but don’t focus on the time. Instead, set a timer and forget about it. Write without interruption until that timer goes off. Then, take a break before writing again.

6. Become a morning person. Writing in the morning is great because the stresses and excitements of the day haven’t taken over yet. Your mind is clearest in the morning, and there are fewer distractions. Some writers like to wake up early and write until their brains get tired. Then, they allow themselves to enjoy the rest of the day however they wish. If you find that you’re having a hard time completing your writing goals because your to-do list grows throughout the day, writing in the morning may be the perfect solution.

I’d love to know, what are you doing to keep the writing momentum going?

– by Wendy Statina

nanowrimo 2016

50,000 words.

Let that sink in for a minute:

50,000 words!

(That’s a lot of words.)

There are so many pitfalls awaiting the eager author, whether participating in NaNoWriMo or just slaving away at the mines on some other project outside of the NaNo-verse, and a lot of the advice you’re going to read out there about how to move past Writer’s Block and so forth is going to sound canned. At this point in your journey, you’re past the point where trite pep talks land with any sort of impact; you know what works for you and what doesn’t, and looking to others for insight just strikes you as … derivative. Everybody’s doing it, and that kind of takes away from its power.

Or does it?

I would caution our readers here at SPA from becoming disenchanted the way I have become disenchanted after so many years, and so many writing marathons. I caution against this because, ultimately, losing hope is the only thing that will truly ruin your November—losing faith that you can do it, and that there’s wisdom to be picked up from those others who have passed through this process.

And while I would be the first to admit that any list, including our old list of ideas from 2012, is bound to be incomplete … well, I would also be the first to stand by the efficacy of the points contained therein, the points tested and verified by the experiences of so many authors.

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! And don’t lose your faith in others … as well as yourself.

You’ve got this, dear reader. You’ve got this.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

From the Archives: “4 Things NaNoWriMo Authors Should Never Do”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: November 7th, 2012 ]

It’s hard to believe the first week of NanoWriMo is behind us already! How are you doing so far? I hope you are enjoying the challenge and that your manuscript is coming along. As you’ve been writing your draft, you may have noticed that it is easy to get distracted or discouraged, but a few simple changes can help you succeed. Here are four things you should never do if you want to finish NaNoWriMo (and maybe even self publish your book someday).

1. Skip a writing session. Unless it is an emergency, you must always stick to your writing schedule. If you must miss a writing session for an important reason, make sure you reschedule it. Ideally, you should reschedule it for another time that day or week. You don’t want to have to play catch up at the end of the challenge because you missed too many writing sessions.

2. Become jealous. Connecting with other writers is a great a way to find encouragement and inspiration during NaNoWriMo, but don’t let their progress discourage you. Some people write faster or have more time to commit. Try not to compare word counts. Focus on your success, and trust that your approach to writing is best for you.

3. Worry about editing. As you write your first draft, it is tempting to think about all the things you need to go back and fix. You should not be worrying about editing right now. You need to focus on writing. There will be plenty of time to worry about editing later. If the thought of editing really discourages you, treat yourself to professional editing services  after you achieve your goal.

4. Give up. There will be days when you become frustrated and consider giving up. Don’t do it! You can and will succeed as long as you keep trying. If you need some motivation, talk to people who believe in you, read about other successful authors, or take some time to relax and come back refreshed.

Remember, your goal isn’t just writing 50,000 words this month. Your ultimate goal is to write a novel (and self publish it). That goal takes time, dedication, and possibly hundreds of cups of coffee, but it is an achievable goal. Stay focused and trust yourself, and you will succeed.

I’d love to know, what habits are interfering with your NaNoWriMo goals?

– by Kelly Schuknecht

 

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This post goes live the first day of the second week of NaNoWriMo, and I’m willing to bet that those of you who have decided to participate this year are beginning to find the cold hard facts of extended writing sessions unbearable. Or, perhaps, you’re the opposite: you feed on pressure, and deadlines. But no matter where you’re at and what perspective you take of NaNoWriMo—participant or abstainer—one thing certainly remains true:

Writing is Hard.

If you need any proof, just look at what some of our most respected writers have to say on the matter:

And:
writing is hard ernest hemingway

No literary blog is complete without a reference to Ernest Hemingway, right?

My point isn’t to make you feel depressed over the inevitability of struggles cropping up during NaNoWriMo and all other writing projects, but instead to remind you that even the great All Stars of creative writing face the same challenges, and they struggled too. Which means that you’re not doing anything wrong, even if the worst happens and you make one of the four mistakes I first wrote about back in 2012.

There is always a way forward, and we’re here to help you find it! Clue us in on where you’re at with NaNoWriMo and your other projects, and we’ll pull out all the stops to find you resources, advice, and those tangible actionable ways forward!

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

From the Archives: “5 Online Tasks for Self Publishing Authors to Complete Before NanoWriMo”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.

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[ Originally posted: October 22nd, 2012 ]

There is a little more than a week until NanoWriMo begins! If you’re like many self publishing authors, you’ve been spending the month of October preparing for the challenge. You’ve probably started brainstorming and outline and cleaning off your desk, but there are a few online tasks that you should complete before the official beginning of NanoWriMo. Here is your to-do list.

1) Make sure you are registered.

Before you start all the fun tasks below, make sure you are registered for the event. You can do so by visiting NanoWriMo.org. This will ensure that you have access to all the benefits and resources the challenge has to offer.

2) Create social media pages.

Social media is a great way to market yourself and your book, and many readers, agents, and publishers expect you to take advantage of this marketing tool. You could create social media pages for yourself, your book, or your characters. Be creative, and have fun with social media. This is also a great time to start a blog.

3) Connect with other authors.

Of the greatest benefits of  NanoWriMo is the opportunity to connect with other authors. They can encourage and support you during this project. You can connect with authors by visiting the NanoWriMo website as well as by searching social media sites for people who are participating.

4) Download some music.

Music is a great way to become inspired. Download a few songs that you can listen to when you need some inspiration. Listen to songs that your characters would be interested, or search for music that reminds you of your setting or plot.

5) Play on Pinterest.

Pinterest is a great way to find inspiration as well as promote your book. Create boards for your characters, setting, or plot. Be creative, and have fun with this. What outfits would your character wear? What food would your character eat?

I’d love to know, what are you doing to prepare for NanoWriMo?

– by Wendy Statina

Most of the time, we like writing.

Or don’t we?

Sometimes, writing feels like writing. And sometimes—not just because of Halloween, but for other reasons too—writing feels like one long protracted scream into the void. (My scream? “WHY ARE WRITING OUTLINES SO DARN HARD??” Yours might be different.) It’s realistic to expect that at some point during an intensive writing spree—whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or not—you’ll face insurmountable obstacles and unstoppable forces and immovable objects. Or at least, you’ll face challenges that seem like all of the above: Writer’s Block, characters gone haywire, plot holes, inconsistencies, and that one thing you really really want to edit but shouldn’t yet because it’ll totally torch your forward momentum. You know, those things.

nanowrimo inkygirl will write for chocolate

If I’ve learned anything from my many attempts at NaNoWriMo—mostly unsuccessful insofar as word count is concerned—it’s that preparation and a little foresight goes a long way towards keeping November (or, again, any intensive writing spree—especially if you have to meet some sort of deadline) fun. Thus, I thought it worth reviving Wendy’s wonderful 2012 blog for both your benefit and mine. Her suggestions still hold true today, four years and many gray hairs later, even though social media and even relationship-building is a moving target (So long, Vine. You’ll be missed*sob*).

Better still, the principle underlying Wendy’s post holds true:

Think ahead.

Spend a day or two setting yourself up for success and you’ll not need to spend thirty-odd days obsessing over the details. Look for your inspiration and put together that inspiration board on Pinterest. Spend a few hours building an architecture for your piece. Take a moment to either hop on social media and give warning that you’ll be scaling back your presence to help with focus—or to lay the groundwork for increased involvement, predicated on the knowledge that doing this thing in community is so much nicer than doing it solo. Register with NaNoWriMo if you think that might give you a little extra motivation, or register with a local writer’s club for something in your own backyard. Swing on by your libraries for writing sprints! (Those things are wonderful.)

Whatever you do, don’t wait to do it! This post goes live the morning that NaNoWriMo gets started, but it’s worth doing all these things even if it takes away from one day’s word total. After all, you’re laying the groundwork for everything that follows.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing News: 10.31.2016

And now for the news!

This week in the world of self-publishing:

Just a quick reminder: It’s NaNoWriMo time! As we mentioned last week, you’ll be seeing the buzz over this annual tradition–National Novel Writing Month–begin to cascade through your literary networks, then build to a crescendo over the month of November. We’ll be following its progress–and your progress–here on Self Publishing Advisor, in hopes that we can provide yet another resource to assist you in reaching your writing goals, even if they have nothing at all to do with NaNoWriMo itself and the nonprofit organization which has brought it to such international acclaim. After all, the same tips and tricks which help NaNoWriMo participants are the same tips and tricks that all authors need to brush up on every now and again!

Did you ever think you’d be getting serious writing advice from Bustle? I sure didn’t—but I’m very, very glad to have stumbled across this excellent October 24th piece by Bustle contributor Stephanie Topacio Long. Says Long, “The countdown to National Novel Writing Month is now down to single digits”—or in our case, less than twenty-four hours—”so it’s understandable if your excitement or anxiety about the annual writing challenge is off the charts already. Luckily, there’s still time for last-minute NaNoWriMo prep. Taking certain steps in the lead-up to November could make for a more successful month of writing.” While we’ve written about this subject here on Self-Publishing Advisor before, it’s always good to hear affirmation (and perhaps, receive more fleshed-out advice) from other writers whom we admire. Like Faulkner and Eisenberg, Long emphasizes the importance of preparatory tips like setting a schedule and establishing a support system (my personal favorite), but she goes a bit further in pushing for authors to get pumped up for the days to come. (And her well-selected gifs to illustrate each point definitely don’t hurt her argument.) As Long says, “Get psyched for NaNoWriMo now. Win or lose, the experience will be valuable for you. You’ll either come out the other side with the first draft of a novel (fingers crossed!), or you’ll learn a host of valuable lessons.” Hear, hear, Ms. Long! For the rest of her fabulous piece, click here.

Look, everybody needs a little humor headed into a long hard project, right? And right at the perfect moment, along comes Adam Forsgren with this glorious October 29th article for East Idaho News! “This will be my sixth year participating in NaNoWriMo, and over the years, I’ve noticed that the whole experience can be broken into different stages of dealing with the ‘burden’ of writing a 50,000 word narrative in 30 days,” he begins: “Think of it kind of like the stages of dealing with death, only with more caffeine and less crushing despondency.” First off, I’d like to take all of our collective hats off to Forsgren. SIX years of NaNoWriMo? That’s incredible. Secondly, he’s in a privileged place to deliver to us his theory of the 5 Phases of Dealing With NaNoWriMo:

  1. “Total Stokage” (AKA enthusiasm)
  2. “The Weight Hits” (oh no)
  3. “The Drag” (it doesn’t get worse than this, does it?)
  4. “The Despondency” (oh … it does ….)
  5. “The Glorious Morning!!”

As you might have guessed from the double exclamation point, Forsgren is a huge advocate for sticking it out through thick and thin to finish your writing projects (“It feels like I’ve actually accomplished something. It’s as close as I’ll ever get to fatherhood. And what’s crazy is that once you feel that feeling, you can’t wait to do it all over again.”) and he’s incredibly persuasive. If you needed the combination of realism (he does face up to the incredible challenges this project entails) and a powerful pep talk, this is the article for you. Read the full thing online at EastIdahoNews.com!


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Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com.