Category Archives: PepTalks

Here We Are – Our Final Pep Talk of 2016! I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Here We Are – Our Final Pep Talk of 2016! I’m not crying, you’re crying!

Hey there NaNoLansing!

Just a few quick announcements before we head to our ::sob:: last four-region pep talk, this time from Hufflepuff!

ML Sponsored Events:

  • Write In at Biggby Holt, Tuesday 11-29, 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Last Blast Get Your Words In Write In at Old Chicago, Okemos, Wednesday 11-30, 9 pm to Midnight
  • TGIO Party at Okemos Libary, Saturday 12-3, 2 pm to 5 pm. Check out the forum post to learn more about our end of the month bash! We will have food, awesome door prizes, and awards! Don’t forget to RSVP so we can plan accordingly!

Come Write In Events:

  • Monday 11-28 Delta Township Library Come Write In  4 pm to 6 pm.

Other Fun Stuff:


Speaking of House Points….
And Slytherin has taken the lead! Hufflepuff is close behind and can still cinch the gap! Of course, we still have a few days and with these numbers, it’s anyone’s game! Come on everyone! Fight, fight!

Here are the current standings:
1st – Slytherin – 10650
2nd – Hufflepuff – 10465
3rd – Ravenclaw – 10085
4th – Gryffindor – 10055

Best of luck finishing out the month!

Your house Gryffindor MLs
Annette (Contemplative Cat) and Courtney (YuOfOwari22)

And now – Onto this week’s uplifting pep talk from Hufflepuff!

4 Region School of Wordcraft and Wizardry
House Heads: Annette/Contemplative Cat (Gryffindor), Beth/lachattefatale (Ravenclaw), Heather/kdskid007 (Hufflepuff), Lori/Flyleaf (Slytherin)

Dear Wrimo,

You made it through the month! Through this up and down filled adventure, you didn’t give up. You kept your head held high, your fingers agile, and your creativity flowing. You didn’t allow life to totally derail your writing efforts, though it sure did try. No matter where your final word count landed, you can hold that fact up as proof to the world that you. Are. A. Writer. You have more words written now than you did a month ago, and that’s not something just anyone can say.

We in Hufflepuff are loyal, and you have done an excellent job in remaining loyal to your novel. (Though admittedly, you may have strayed once or twice. I certainly did!) We are not just the House of leftovers, and neither are you and your novel. Every single word you have written makes you a writer, whether it was in plot outlines, character sketches, or the task of putting words on the page.

Don’t give up now, when you’re so close to the finish line. If you haven’t written in a couple of days thanks to all the holiday madness that’s been going on, ignore that. Sit down and crank out a few words, for like five minutes. Then take a break and write some more. You can do this! Strive for as close to 50k as you can, strive to break 50k. To quote the Sorting Hat from The Sorcerer’s Stone:

You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;

So toil away, wrimos! 50k might be a bit of a stretch, but don’t let that deter you. There are still a few days left in the month, and that goal isn’t entirely out of reach. Whether you’re native to Hufflepuff, have been transplanted for the month, or are in a different house entirely, follow Hufflepuff’s example and don’t give up. We have faith in you, and know that you can do this.

You’ve got this!

~Heather (kdskid007), Meg (BlackberrySpark), and Wendi (cgirl1979)
House Heads of Hufflepuff House

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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Channel Your Inner Clever and Resourceful Self!

Channel Your Inner Clever and Resourceful Self!

Hey there NaNoLansing!

Just a few quick announcements before we head to our clever pep talk from Slytherin!

ML Sponsored Events:

  • Word Wizardry Write In – this Sunday from 12 to 5:30.  There’s still space left, so please join us for a day of word wizardry fun.  RSVP here.
  • Monday Virtual ML Sponsored write in 8 pm to 10 pm

Come Write In Events:

  • Tomorrow Saturday 11-19, the Okemos Public Library has an all day write in with coffee and tea.  9 am to 7 pm.
  • Monday 11-21 Delta Township Library Come Write In  4 pm to 6 pm.  There may be authors there discussing the craft.

Other Fun Stuff:


Speaking of House Points….
Hufflepuff remains in 1st place, however in a neck and neck race, Slytherin has overtaken Ravenclaw for second place and our brave, but needs more stupendousness, Gryffindor remains in 4th place.  (We can do it, Gryffs!  Come to write ins!  Do something awesome!)   *cough, cough* so back to the results…

1st – Hufflepuff – 7334
2nd – Slytherin – 6846
3rd – Ravenclaw – 6785
4th – Gryffindor – 6502

Your house Gryffindor MLs
Annette (Contemplative Cat) and Courtney (YuOfOwari22)

And now – Onto the brilliantly cunning and creative pep talk from Slytherin!

4 Region School of Wordcraft and Wizardry
House Heads: Annette/Contemplative Cat (Gryffindor), Beth/lachattefatale (Ravenclaw), Heather/kdskid007 (Hufflepuff), Lori/Flyleaf (Slytherin)

 

Dear Wrimos,

We’re well into November and the end may be coming a tad too quickly for some. Now is the time to channel your inner serpent and call on a few Slytherin traits. No matter which House you call home, you may need a dose of cleverness, a dash of resourcefulness, a pinch of determination, and “a certain disregard for the rules.”

The NaNo forums are here to help. Check out the Reaching 50,000! Section, where you’ll find Tips & Tricks, NaNo Dares, Scenes to Up Your Word Count, and more. You’ll also discover that none of this is actually against the rules, but don’t let that stop you.

Want a few quick tips from the forum, right here in your inbox? Give these a shot:
– Find and replace all the contractions with full words. Ex: “wasn’t” becomes “was not”.
– Give your main character a ridiculously long title and be sure it’s used every time. Ex: The Supremely Awesome Yet Gloriously Humble But Non Self Deprecating Exact Right Amount of Self Confidence Perfect Mary Sue.
– Accept a ridiculous dare and write a quick scene that is not part of the story. You may be surprised at how quickly you can write when you know it doesn’t matter. And you just may end up discovering something about your characters in the process.

For those of you who’ve hit the 50k or are well on the way, I salute you. Your timely resourcefulness and determination have served you well. Bravo! Keep cheering the rest of us on, if you will, and let’s do our noveling wizardry school proud.

Your Slytherin Head of House,

Lori/Flyleaf
ML Cape Cod, Massachusetts

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

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Week 2 – Just keep writing~ Just keep writing~~ (With House Points update!)

Week 2 – Just keep writing~ Just keep writing~~ (With House Points update!)

NaNoLansing Events!

Word Wizardry Write In!
We still have space available for people at our Word Wizards Write In this Sunday Nov 20 from noon-5:30.  We have prizes every hour!  Plus our group outing to see Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Please RSVP ASAP so we can be sure there is space!

Other ML sponsored Write Ins:
Monday 11-14:  Virtual Write- In 10 am to noon
Tuesday 11-15 Biggby Holt  2:30 to 4:30 pm
Thursday 11-17 Old Chicago 7 pm to 10 pm.

Other Write Ins:
Monday 11-14:  Come Write In – Delta Township Library 6 -7:30 pm
Saturday 11-19:  All Day!  Come Write In – Okemos Public Library 9 am to 7 pm

Other Important Dates:
Monday 11-14 – Back Up Your Novel Day!
Thursday 11-17 – ML Appreciation Day

 

And now – our week 2 pep talk compliments of Ravenclaw Head Professor lachattefatale – Beth!

4 Region School of Wordcraft and Wizardry
House Heads: Annette/Contemplative Cat (Gryffindor), Beth/lachattefatale (Ravenclaw), Heather/kdskid007 (Hufflepuff), Lori/Flyleaf (Slytherin)

Hello, witches and wizards! It is I, Beth, the Head of Ravenclaw House.

This letter is late.

I found out last week something that I had always known but which perhaps had not quite hit home; nimble wits do not always equal nimble fingers. I spilled near-boiling coffee on my arm, burning myself badly enough to require medical attention, and I’ve been unable to type most of the past week. My wordcount (and this letter) have suffered as a result.

But even though this is a hard lesson for me, maybe you can learn from my mistake. First, be extremely careful around anything labeled ‘hot’, even if you think the warning labels are silly. Second, no matter what happens to your wordcount, keep writing. No, I probably won’t make it to 50,000 words this year. My new challenge is to see how many words I can still cram in. If you’ve had some bad days or a bad week, no matter the reason, just keep writing with me.

Remember, we’re Ravenclaws. Even the three quarters of you who aren’t Ravenclaws have a little sliver of clever-witty-bookish in your hearts. We can use those clever brains to manage our time well going forward, and we can use that wit to start tying up our plot holes. Most of all, we can use our love of books to write books, so hop to it. (Figuratively. Do not spill your coffee.)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

House Standings!

Hufflepuff has overtaken Ravenclaw, but Ravenclaw is a close second.  Slytherin has slid to 3rd place and although Gryffindor has closed the gap, it is still trailing behind in 4th place.

Keep writing everyone!  Come to the write ins!  Our points will start flying!

Hufflepuff – 5782
Ravenclaw – 5200
Slytherin – 4950
Gryffindor – 4882

Encouragingly yours,
Courtney aka YuOfOwari22
along with Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your Heads of Gryffindor aka Municipal Liaisons

 

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The Home Stretch

The Home Stretch

Every year at about this time one of us writes a message with a reminder not to give up, that there is still time to reach your goals and here, in this group and place and time were will support you no matter what word count you have at 12:01am on December 1st.

It may sometimes sounds like tripe when we say the most important thing about NaNo is that you took that leap and you have more written now than you did before whether it is 5,000 or 100,000, but I promise you we mean it. Take courage and continue on no matter where you are. If you’ve already hit 50,000 words (or your personal word goal) – Congratulations!!!! Let your purple bar shine!

If you’re not at 50,000 I feel you more than ever this year because as some of you have noticed, my word count hasn’t made much progress of late. As is sometimes said “life happened” and my dread of moving has been proven true as I attempt to pack up my apartment and clean in these last few days of the month. I’ve known for a couple of weeks now that short of Mary Poppins showing up and helping me out with a bit of her magic, there was little chance of hitting that 50,000 words. However, if there is one thing I have seen true in my years with NaNo, it is that not ‘winning’ doesn’t mean that your efforts are in vain.

There is a quote that has been on my fridge for years now and I’d like you to take it to heart as you read and write today.

“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. It lies in having no goal to reach. It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace not to have stars to reach. Not failure, but low aim, is the real sin.”
– Benjamin Mays –

There are so so very many people out there who will never step out and take a chance on the novel inside of them. No matter how many words you have written, you have taken that first step. You may consider your first draft garbage, but that’s ok. Pretty much every first draft is, but without it there are no second, third, or fourth drafts. Without it there are no finished novels.

I won’t be seeing you all at the last couple of write-ins with moving going on, but I have complete confidence that you will have an awesome time with Annette and look forward to the TGIO coming up next weekend. I don’t know exactly where life will take me in the next few months, but I don’t expect to be in Lansing come next November, so if you’ve ever considered getting more involved with the region, drop her a message and let her know. There’s always something that could use an extra set of helping hands.

It has been an amazing nine years with you all. It is still crazy to me that it has not only been that long, but just how much we have grown from that little group of 8 or 9 of us at Schuler’s my very first year in Lansing. You have been more than just my region, you’ve been my inspiration and I am so proud to have been a part of you. I know that no matter where I end up this coming year you are in good hands and will continue to do amazing things. I may be too far to pop in next year, especially if plans to move to Germany come together, but I have already promised to pop in and visit the chat room at the very least 😉

Now for a few practical end of NaNo tips:

  • Use the validator to check your word count even if it’s less than 50,000. This will let you know if there’s any discrepancy between your program and the validator.
  • Try and squeeze in the last couple of write-ins to boost your word count (and spirits).
  • Back it up and do it again.

– Write-Ins –

Today, 2-5 pm
Virtual Write-In
Get more info here

Sunday, Nov. 29, 2-5 pm
Grand Traverse Pie Company (E. Lansing)
Orchard Room

Monday, Nov 30, 8pm-Midnight
Last Blast to Get Your Words In!
Old Chicago (Okemos)

– End of November Wrap-Up –

If you would like to get a halo or nominate someone for one, make sure to do so in the next few days.

Make sure your final monkey trades have been entered as close to the first as possible for award calculation.

Not sure how to validate your novel? Check out this article for step-by-step directions.

– TGIO Party –

Our annual gathering to ease our separation anxiety and FOMO along with celebrating another NaNo completed.

Saturday, December 5, 2-5pm
Okemos Library

For more information go here.

To RSVP go here.

To share your potluck contribution plans go here.

I must resume my packing, but have a wonderful weekend, write-well, and never give up.

Alaina aka A_Rachelle
along with Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons (MLs) aka your event coordinators, purveyors of fun, answerers of questions and senders of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online! 
Our Forums 
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook 
Twitter

You Can Do This!

You Can Do This!

It’s Thanksgiving week.  We’re heading into the final stretches of NaNo. Whether you are at your recommended 41667 words, have finished or are way behind and feel like your novel is stuck and going nowhere – Don’t give up. You may feel like your novel is going nowhere. You might wonder why you even started this project. You might feel like you want to divorce your novel and leave it behind in the dust. Don’t do it. Keep on writing.

I was looking for some inspiring quotes on this subject and found this one that really fits.

“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.” – Author Unknown

You may feel like everything you are writing is crap, but it isn’t. There really are bits and pieces of brilliance in there. You might have to sludge through some things when you edit {in December or beyond} but you will find them there. Keep writing and push through this stage and you’ll find yourself closer to “the end” and closer to your win and in the process you’ll reach a point where everything flows again. That’s right. Push on and you can find that key to unlock your creative juices again.

Here are some ideas to help you through:

  • Work on a subplot
  • Explore the motivations of one of your minor characters
  • Send your characters off on a side adventure
  • Grab one and leave one of our plot prompts.
  • Let yourself have desert or some other reward after you’ve written something.
  • Go to the chat room and find some word wars to join in or have one yourself by typing !startwar (# of minutes) (number of minutes before you start). I’ll be on and off there for the rest of the month. Look for my name without the |afk and I should be there shortly if not already.

Think you won’t have time during this holiday season? Here are some ideas to make the time.

  • Write while the turkey is cooking.
  • Take a “nap” after dinner and bring your laptop with you. While Grandpa is snoozing, you too can be away from kids, family and expectations alone with your novel.
  • Go to bed early and take your laptop with you.  While people think you are sleeping, your novel can be written.
  • Write on your smart phone, while in line shopping, in the restroom, anywhere really.
  • Dictate to Siri while you’re waiting for something, or as you walk the dog.
  • Have someone else drive to the family celebration and use that time to write. One year, one of my friends was able to write 10K words as her hubby was driving to and from the relatives for Thanksgiving!
  • Use every spare moment as a chance to write. I’ve done a majority of my writing this year in 15 to 20 minute stretches.
  • Write with others at our ML Sponsored write ins.

Other things:

Winning:

If you’ve reached 50K – awesome! Congratulations! Our list of winners can be found here. Now be sure to validate your novel because you won’t have officially won until you do that.  Information on how to do that can be found here.

Staff Appreciation Day Wednesday 11-25:

NaNoWriMo staff do a whole lot to make this event happen and keep it fun for us. So much happens behind the scenes that we never see and they spend countless dedicated hours to provide this wonderful venue for us. It’s so easy to take things for granted, yet it is truly wonderful to hear that what you do really is appreciated.  Please let them know how much you appreciate them at these threads – Site & Message Board, Feedback & Suggestions and All Ages Coffeehouse.

Treat Yourself to A Beautiful Halo either by donating or through our Halo Relocation Program. And a huge thank you to all of you awesome people who have already donated.  You help make this all possible.

TGIO & Going Away Party for Alaina:

Be sure to RSVP to let us know you’re going. It will give me time to get your awards together. Also, let us know if and what you’ll be bringing for the potluck. The list can be found here.  More information can be found in this thread.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Now stretch those fingers and wrists and get back to writing. We’re cheering you on with each word you write. 

Encouragingly yours,
Annette (Contemplative Cat)
along withAlaina (A_Rachelle)
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons.

Find us online! 
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It's the Halfway Point!

It's the Halfway Point!

We’ve reached the halfway point. Yay! Congratulations, wrimos! Whether you have already reached your 50K point like three of our amazing wrimos have, are still writing away, or feeling so far behind that you’ll never catch up, take a moment and pat yourself on the back. Seriously. Stop what you’re doing right now and lift your hand up and give yourself a pat. I’ll wait.

Doesn’t that feel good?

You’ve written words. You’ve got your novel underway. Every word written is an accomplishment! Every. Single. Word! Be proud of yourself. I know I’m proud of each and every one of you! Yes. Even you! The NaNoLansing library has a spot waiting just for your novel.

Perhaps some of you are sailing right along and the words are flowing freely for you. Congratulations. I’m a little bit envious. Perhaps some of you are feeling stuck like me and pushing yourself to write something just to get the “I uploaded words every day badge.” Maybe some of you feel it’s hopeless and have given up. Regardless of where you are right now, don’t give up. Keep writing. Even one sentence is one more sentence than you had before. If you’re stuck on one scene, move to another and go back. It will probably be fresher and easier later.

Perhaps your characters have it too easy? Be mean to them. Give them some obstacle that makes it hard for them to reach their goal. Give them a lot of obstacles. Have them nearly reach their goal and then take it away from them at the last minute. Your plot will get much more interesting and you’ll have much more fun with it.

Need more inspiration? 
Read our wonderful wrimo-written pep talks – like the fantastic one we have from Jim Hines. (Thanks again, Jim!) He’s always been an inspiration to me. Write one of your own and inspire others – and win that badge for pep talks.

Want a writing prompt? Take one and leave another from our writing prompt thread.

Want to be inspired by a shiny halo and receive your badge for that?
You can donate yourself or thanks to the wonderful people who have donated already and have added to the traveling TARDIS, if you are a broke wrimo and would like a halo and the badge that goes with that, please post in the Halo Relocation Program Thread. We currently have 6 halos waiting to be passed on.

Want some friendly competition? Add your name to the word count tracker for NaNoLansing and watch how you compare to your fellow wrimos. 

Need more push?

Come join your fellow writers at our write-ins this week.

  • Tonight (11-17) with YuOfOwari at AI Fusion at 7 pm. Be sure to let her know you are coming asap because there is only one room that can accommodate 15+ people and it fills up.
  • Wednesday Night (11-18), I’ll be running a virtual write in from 8 pm to 10 pm. This counts as one of your NaNoLansing Events.
  • Thursday night/Friday morning (11-19/20) GBJazzman will be hosting a write in at the Westside Denny’s starting at 12:30 am.Saturday (11-21) from 11 am to 2 pm, another ML sponsored write in takes place at the East Lansing Pie Company.


Mark Your Calendars for the TGIO/Going Away Party:
Don’t forget to reserve time on Saturday December 5th from 2-5pm to come celebrate another wonderful NaNo. This is also a very special party because the first part of the celebration will be a going away party for Alaina who has decided to pursue more exciting things and will be moving in a few weeks.

WINNING!
Starting November 20th, you can upload your novel to officially win and get your shiny purple winner’s banner and goodies.  You can still keep writing after that and updating your word count, so don’t worry about that.  Be sure to validate your novels.  Every year I see people who reached their 50K and never officially won and it’s heartbreaking to see.  Don’t let that be you.  Validate your novel sooner versus later.  And for those of you, like me who aren’t at all at the point to win, now is a good time to be sure your account is set to EST.  You will have until 11:59 on 11-30 to validate your word count and win.

As always, write on. Come chat with us in the chat room. Post in the forums and have fun!

Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons,
Annette (Contemplative Cat)
along with Alaina (A_Rachelle)

Find us online! 
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It's November 1st! Say Hello to Your Characters.

It's November 1st! Say Hello to Your Characters.

It’s November 1, the day when hundreds of thousands of people around the world embark on the exciting journey of writing. It’s the day when the NaNoLansing Library is filled with dreams of completed novels. Characters come out to play and rush forth to have their story told. Writers contemplate their next scene and fingers are flying across keyboards and paper.

Your characters are just as excited as you are to be given life. They long to have their stories join in with the many other stories that line the shelves of the library. Whether you have fully developed and fleshed out characters or they are just fuzzy, vague ideas, let them come forth. As you write, they will become clearer to you. Your story will move forward as you guide them through the what if and what next process.

Use the enthusiasm you have right now to get a jump start on your word counts. Write as much as you can this week and give yourself some word count padding. Now’s the time to really run with your thoughts while you and your characters are fresh and enthusiastic.

Write strong, write hard, and write every day. Even if you only write a few words, you are still moving forward and adding to your novel. Post your word count every day and you’ll receive a shiny badge showcasing your achievement.

What else to check out and do while you are on the forum:

  • Fill in your novel info. You can always revise it later.
  • Be sure that you are homed to USA::Michigan::Lansing so your words count for our area.
  • Get a halo either by donating or by the Halo Relocation Program. We still have nine spots for wrimos to be haloed from our traveling TARDIS of good noveling karma donations. Check out our Halo Relocation Program thread.
  • Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 7th and Double up Donation Day. You can get the $50 donation items for only donating $25. (Sorry there’s no double up for other donation levels.) Plus there will be chances for hourly prizes along with a grand prize winner.

Want to be encouraged and have some camaraderie while you write? We have some very fun activities and resources available to you.

  • Make a post in the Word Count Tracker thread and watch how your word counts compare with your fellow wrimos.
  • Participate in the Guilt Monkey Game.  We already have monkeys that have been spotted in the area.
  • Write a pep talk for your fellow wrimos and win a badge for your author info page in the process.
  • Post and give feedback on your novel synopsis.
  • Participate in NaNoSelfie Day. Help your fellow wrimos around the world by posting a picture of yourself to Twitter or Facebook #NaNoSelfieDay2015 and #NaNoLansing. We’ll flood the NaNoverse with inspiring pictures that day.

Upcoming Write-Ins:

We have a wonderful assortment of write-ins available to you.

  • If you’re a night owl, gbjazzman will be having a late night write-in at the Denny’s on the westside from 12:30 to 2 am on Monday night/Tuesday morning.
  • Our next ML sponsored write-in will be Thursday November 5th at Old Chicago in Okemos from 7 to 10 pm.
  • Stay up Thursday night and drive out to the west side for another late night write-in with gbjazzman at Denny’s from 12:30 to 2 am again.

While not a NaNoWriMo event, the Capital City Writer’s Association is having their all day Go Green, Go Write event on Saturday and it is free of charge. There are already 80 people who will be attending that. Wow!

Well it’s time for this writer to get back to her novel, so for now, I, and my characters, bid you adieu.

Write on fellow wrimos. Write on!

Annette aka Contemplative Cat
along with Alaina aka A_Rachelle
Your NaNoLansing Municipal Liaisons (MLs) aka your event coordinators, purveyors of fun, answerers of questions and senders of periodic regional messages to keep you in the loop.

Find us online! 
Our Forums 
NaNoLansing.org 
Facebook 
Twitter

Make Your Last Day Count

Make Your Last Day Count

There are planned pep talks and then there are those thoughts that come to you while driving home at one in the morning because you didn’t want to stop typing at your parents house when it was a half hour to midnight because you’ve still got 5,000 words to write before the final midnight.

All of you who have already validated can go plot what you’re bringing to the potluck at the TGIO party. I love you, but I’m not talking to you right now. Really. This is the last time you’ll hear a peep from me until tonight’s Last Blast To Get Your Words In or I’ve validated myself. Whichever comes first.

For those of you still reading, I want to take a moment to encourage you to keep writing. As I have been working on catching up with the 12,000 words I need to get in these few days, I could not help but think a quote attributed to Red Smith about the difficulty of writing that goes “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

We may not use typewriters anymore (at least the vast majority of us), but sometimes these last days of writing feel like bleeding, like the marathoner who didn’t quite break in their shoes enough before beginning the race.

Life happened. Writer’s block got you. Doubts started eating away at your confidence. The characters ran amuck. Whatever it is that happened in the last 29 days, I want to encourage you to keep writing today… and tomorrow and the next day. Maybe you don’t reach that 50,000. Maybe you do. Whatever happens take heart in the words of Ray Bradbury – “You fail only if you stop writing.”

Don’t let worry slow you down. Follow Walt Disney’s advice – “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.” 

I like quotes, so here are a few more that you can take heart in if the craziness of this all seems to have grown since you first started on this journey.

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – F. Nietzsche

“Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.” – Doctor Who

“We wait, starving for moments of high magic to inspire us, but life is full of common enchantment waiting for our alchemist’s eyes to notice.” – Jacob Nordby

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” – unknown

“Never, ever let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Prove the cynics wrong. Pity them for they have no imagination. The sky’s the limit. Your sky. Your limit. Now. Let’s dance.” – Tom Hiddleston

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash, founder of May Kay cosmetics

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

I could go on and on, but I have some writing of my own to do. Hopefully one or more of these gives you something to hold onto as you continue in your writing journey.

Whatever comes at midnight, I’ll borrow from lyrics of The Wanted to share my own feelings towards you all -:

“The sun goes down
The stars come out
And all that counts
Is here and now
My universe will never be the same
I’m glad you came
I’m glad you came”

Write on, my friends. We’ll see you again soon.

Alaina aka A_Rachelle
Your co-captain of the Airship NaNoLansing Sojourner aka co-Municipal Liaison for USA::Michigan::Lansing

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Week 4 – Believe in Your Potential for Greatness

Week 4 – Believe in Your Potential for Greatness

It’s week 4. Some of your friends are sprouting their winning purple bar, others are like me and waiting to validate until I have more words. Some are right where they need to be, others are a little behind and then some are ready to give up.

For those who have won. Congratulations! Well Done! Go share your joy in the Winner’s Hall of Fame Thread.

For those of you like me who are waiting to validate your novels – don’t wait too long. They need to be validated by 11-30-14 at 11:59 pm. If you need information on how to validate, check out our Winning NaNo FAQ thread.

The people I want to talk with right now though are those of you who look at your word counts and are ready to give up.

DON’T GIVE UP! No matter how improbable your winning seems, believe in your potential for greatness!

Look at the Steampunk world. Steampunk technology is completely improbable and yet it works. One foundational idea behind the steampunk movement is the greatness of human potential and the human potential for greatness! You have it in you to be great! Yes you. *points at you* Yes, I really do mean you. YOU can be GREAT!

One article on steampunk philosophy says it perfectly :

“Steampunk is unrepentantly optimistic, intentionally calling upon the past for the inspiration to build a better future, free ourselves of limiting inequities, and to make a place where each individual is empowered to explore their own creativity.”

Steampunk looks at recycling, reusing and repurposing items. When it comes to NaNo – draw upon that ideology and recycle some of your old ideas. Repurpose your old plot lines. Send your character off on a side pursuit which will add backstory, character depth and words.

But whatever you do – DON’T GIVE UP!

Every year we see multiple wrimos achieve the improbable and write 20 to 30K words in the last few days of the month. You can do that! Yes, you can! I’m actually trying to get another 15K in by the end of the month and I’ve been notorious for slacking off this past week, but I’m still going to do my darnest to make that happen.

Imagine how great you will feel having accomplished the improbable. Imagine that beautiful purple bar and the cheers of the NaNo staff when you win! Doesn’t that feel wonderful? So don’t give up. Achieve greatness and keep going!

To help you with your goal we have 3 more write-ins planned:

  • Online write in – Friday 11-28-14 from 2 to 4 pm in the NaNoLansing Chat Room. Be sure to allow time to register if you haven’t done so already.  More info in this thread.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to register to use the chatroom.
  • Saturday 11-29-14 from 11 am until 2 pm – EL Grand Traverse Pie Company.  Thread with more info here.
  • Sunday 11-30-14 from 9 pm until Midnight – Last Blast Get Your Words in Write In – Old Chicago, Okemos

Whether you win or not, you are still much farther ahead then you were at the beginning of the month. Your novel is taking form and that’s wonderful.

Annette aka Contemplative Cat
Your co-captain of the Airship NaNoLansing Sojourner aka co-Municipal Liaison for USA::Michigan::Lansing

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Week 3: All the Little Things

Week 3: All the Little Things

Week three. Sometimes it feels like the Wednesday of NaNo. In week one we had a plan or the hope of a plan and asked ourselves ‘what if.’ Week two we held fast to our imaginations and steamed past the naysayers. Then week three arrived. Purple bars started appearing under some people’s pictures. Then there are those of us who aren’t quite (or not at all) near the blasted purple bar worrying as we shovel coal in hopes of creating some more steam because it feels like there might not be quite enough. This is week three. Don’t worry. It’s almost week four.

So what can you do when all those coals of ideas pushing your imagination on seem to be running low?

One of the things that is fascinating in steampunk is while there is that crazy juxtoposition of ideas and openness to just about anything, there is also a lot of attention to detail. Do an image search on steampunk and once you look past the tophats and corsets and bustles of the Victorian era, you may begin to notice that what sets them apart are all the little deatils. There are cogs and chains and intricate clockwork devices. The pistols are engraved and the brass is aged. Texture is layered over texture and every seam is defined. Without those details they don’t make the jump from Victorian to steampunk.

Word nerd that I am I looked up the etymology of ‘details’ and at its French roots it means to separate (de-), to cut (tailler). Further back that to cut is from the Latin talea meaning a twig or cutting.

What does this have to do with steampunk or NaNo? Maybe its where my own NaNo manuscript is as, but there are two pieces of inspiration I take from this.

The first is that all those ‘minor items or events regarded collectively’ can be a great place to visit when you are stuck and trying to figure out how to get those 1,667 words in for the day. Describe the details that make your story yours. Maybe your character loves pierogies or spike heels. Perhaps they decorated their whole home in purple or there is something strange about the street they live on. Daily writing prompts are a great place to find inspiration for this.Those details may never make it past the first draft, but there is a lot to be learned from the details of your world.

The second is that original Latin talea. In horticulture a cutting is a part of a parent plant that is cut off in order to grow a new and separate plant. Look through what you have written. Where are there places that you have skipped over details or days or emotions? Can a new scene be grown out of it? What unanswered questions can you address?

Need help figuring out some details? Other wrimos are a great source of info. Come and pluck their minds at our write-in today at E. Lansing Grand Traverse Pie Company or any of the others coming up between now and the end of the month.

Go get lost in the little things and we’ll see you soon.

Alaina aka A_Rachelle
Your co-captain of the Airship NaNoLansing Sojourner aka co-Municipal Liaison for USA::Michigan::Lansing

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