Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Welcome to November!

Which to lots of people means welcome to NaNoWriMo. I like the concept of NaNoWriMo, I really do. I like how it creates enthusiasm and gives so many people a push! Getting over the commitment hump is a big deal: I will indeed write a book! you say to yourself, and when you’re 10,000 or 30,000 or 50,000 words in, you know you really meant it. I remember how I felt when I finished MY first book (ever, not that got published.) It was this big feeling of Wow, I can do this. That made it much easier to write another book.

Everyone posts about NaNoWriMo, which is to say, I personally notice lots of posts, though really that says more about whom I follow, I guess. I am sure we are all waaay past the point of needing to be told that your first 50,000-word draft is (a) too short to really be a novel, and (b) probably not polished enough to send off to agents. Though absolutely everyone seems to feel those are required points to mention. What I like, though, are posts that reflect the energy of NaNoWriMo.

Here’s Chuck Wendig’s NaNoWriMo pep talk. Not many people pour as much energy into posts as Chuck. They crackle off the screen.

Here’s another pep talk from Erin Morgenstern. I haven’t read THE NIGHT CIRCUS yet, but it’s been on my radar for a while. My favorite tidbit from this post: When in doubt, just add ninjas.

I laughed. What can I say? I like ninjas. Especially psychic space ninjas.

Here’s a note from Sage Blackwood, reminding us that we learn to write by writing. Which is true. It took me somewhere around 500,000 practice words — the equivalent of 5 novels — before I sat down and wrote CITY, btw. So I would also call that thing about a million words of practice basically true.

I must admit, I have never participated in NaNoWriMo myself. For me, major writing pushes take place in the dog days of summer and in the dead of winter. But I have written 50,000 or more words per month about . . . uh . . . four times now? Five? Yeah, at least five times: CITY; the 2nd and 3rd Griffin Mage books; the final 220 pp of a duology, which I wrote in 19 days (unpublished); and most recently KERI (not the real title). That’s five where I’m positive I hit at least 50,000 words in a month.

I mean, really, that’s only 1700 words per day, which is about five pages, and that’s very doable.

Here’s my favorite image for NaNoWriMo, or for any big writing push at any time of the year:

At Dawn

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