Why NaNoWriMo?

What Insane Person Tries to Write 50K Words in 30 Days?

One who wants to improve their ability to create!

This quick video explains why NaNoWriMo is worth doing and what you’ll gain from the experience.

This is for you if

  • You’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and want to know more
  • Your friend / classmate / significant other is participating in NaNoWriMo and you think they’re crazy
  • YOU are participating in NaNoWriMo…and you’re wondering if YOU are crazy
  • You know you thought this book-in-a-month thing was a good idea, but you can’t seem to remember why
  • You just need a good excuse to procrastinate because you don’t want to write :)

If you enjoy, please share!

This is also available as a Prezi (below) if you prefer to go through it without the narration.


I didn’t mean to take a blog-cation.


I know, I know, summer was starting…I was taking this month-long epic trip to see family who’ve made the unfortunate mistake of living too far away from us…I have two teen boys home from school who wanted to hang with Mom (I know, right?)…PLUS I kinda volunteered to help out with the family business for a week while in PA (largest traditional archery festival in North America, thank you very much)…and, well, I was hitting the job-hunting scene pretty hard because my workload had slowed to a trickle and I need to generate some new revenue streams.

Which meant I had to learn a lot, strike out in new territory, and stress out about all the new skills I was trying to learn.

I have this tendency to think I can do everything. I’m trying to correct that, but for some reason it didn’t occur to me that *maybe* I’d be too busy to blog amidst the travel/work search/work/family/etc. that I’d have going on at the same time, any one of which could have kept me pretty darned busy.David Blackwell

I’m still working on the whole realistic-expectations thing.

So—I’ve decided, in arrears, to take a blog-cation this summer/early fall :~).

Meanwhile, I’m hoping you’ll celebrate with me because this summer has—despite the busy-ness and worries and stress—been a win for me. Here’s what I’m celebrating as summer officially draws to a close*:

  1. I managed to have a GREAT trip with family this summer–no small feat considering that we packed two dogs, two teen boys, two grownups, and enough computer equipment to set up two mobile offices (my husband and I were both working for part of the trip), and were away from home for more than 4 weeks. I’d hoped the trip would bring us closer as a family, and it did. It was also an experiment with the whole working-from-home thing, which both my husband and I do these days. It wasn’t *easy* to move our work spaces from house to house, but it let us see a LOT more of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins than we would have otherwise.
  2. I struck out into new territory in the work arena, bidding on jobs writing about science, medicine, health, and fire fighting–and after a slow start, I now have half a dozen new clients. **Happy dance!** I like not worrying about $$, ya know?
  3. I made–and stuck with–a major dietary change, with the result that I’ve lost 4 lbs in 4 weeks. It’s not a lot, but I’m doing this by changing the way I eat, so it feels like the kind of change that will last.
  4. I’m working on revamping my schedule to better align with my values and priorities. It’s been a loooong process, but I feel like I’m making some headway.

So–those are my "wins" for the summer.

What about you? What do you have to celebrate this season?

* Hey, maybe summer is ending a little later for me than most of the world, but it’s still 70 outside today, so I’m still counting it.

Play With Words…and Reignite Your Creative Fire

I debated several different ways of writing today’s post. Usually, I create a "Tuesday Ten" list of categories or techniques, but such a list would be academic. Academic doesn’t seem quite right for a post about play, you know? A post about play should be fun! It should encourage you to dilly-dally and fool around. It should invite you to stay awhile and enjoy.

So today’s post isn’t a list of how-to’s or a list of ways-to-play-with-words categories. Today’s post is more like a toy box.  A writer’s toy box, full of writer’s toys, so all of us writers can come out and play :).

B RosenPhoto courtesy of B Rosen on Flickr Creative Commons 

How It Works
  1. Pick something that speaks to you from each “toy box,” an image, a symbol, and an interesting turn of phrase.
  2. Pick a “playtime prompt”.
  3. Set a timer for 15 minutes and write—just for the fun of it.
imageErase Expectations!

It’s important that you write just for PLAY, not to produce or brainstorm or do anything else useful. The goal here is to invite the subconscious to make unexpected connections and leaps of insight. You might find that your freewrite inspires your work-in-progress, or sparks a story idea, but it might just be the opportunity for your muse to stretch her (or his) creative muscles and remember why this writing thing is fun.

Some of these Or dig around until you spot something that speaks to you, then give yourself 15 minutes—or more—to play around. As my friend Laura says, “The rules are set in play dough.” There’s only one rule that can’t be broken: No inner critics allowed!

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