"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, October 13, 2014

NaWriMo: My Challenge to ALL Writers, and a Giveaway

Every November, thousands of writers from all over the world participate in a month long frenzy known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  The idea is that on November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.  This is meant to be a completed rough draft only, not a finished product.  For more details: http://nanowrimo.org/ 

There are, of course, many advocates for and naysayers speaking against this process. Bestselling authors claim to have discovered their masterpiece during this month.  Some writers claim the whole process is too stressful, and encourages quantity over quality. Agents and editors have mixed feelings because they recognize any challenge that helps a writer produce is helpful, but they also receive an influx of unfinished, and unedited, manuscripts in December.

My problem with this whole process is that the original NaNoWriMo is directed at fiction writers working on a novel. What about everyone else? Yes, in April there is a “Camp NaNoWriMo” that is directed at poets, but why is the “No” still a part of the title?

What if you are working on a nonfiction book? Maybe your passion is short stories. Or, maybe, you want to break into magazine writing.

I have a personal challenge for all writers in November.  We’ll call it NaWriMo (National Writing Month).  The idea is this: pick one of the below challenges for yourself, and leave a comment below letting us know which one you chose.

1)      Complete a 50,000 word first draft – FICTION

2)      Complete a 50,000 word first draft – NONFICTION

3)      Complete 30 new poems – one a day

4)      Complete 30 articles – one a day

5)      Complete 30 short stories – one a day

6)      Complete 30 blog posts - one a day

7)     Complete a one page illustration for your children's picture book.

8)     Complete a 2 page layout for your graphic novel.

Remember, all of these are meant to be rough drafts. No editing allowed. Allow yourself the freedom to write without your inner critic.

As I mentioned in my last post, this week marks my fourth anniversary of blogging. I wanted to host a giveaway. That giveaway will be based on your participation in my NaWriMo challenge. Between now, and throughout November I will post updates, encouragement, etc. as I participate in this challenge. I would like you to comment and share your thoughts, progress, struggles, encouragement, or any other related ideas. Using Random.org in the first week of December I will choose winners from the comments left on these posts.

You may elect to contribute a prize of your own: books, critiques, guest posts, writing materials, gift cards, etc. If you would like to contribute a prize for the giveaway, please leave a comment, or send me a private message and I will add it to this page with a thank you and a link back to your site.

Prizes so far include Lap Desk, “Just Keep Writing” Journal, LED Book Light, CD’s, and a Plotters Workbook. So start planning your November project. HAPPY WRITING!

Added on 10/28/2014: Journals, bookmarks, book signed by the author, coffee mugs, folders, and bags.

Added on 10/31/2014: An ebook giveaway by Tyrean:

Added on 11/13/14: AND thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, I am adding a few more prizes to my NaWriMo challenge. Sorry for the fuzzy picture. I'll attempt a better one when I'm not so tired. There is a flash drive, another journal, dictionary, thesaurus, hand bookends, notecards with notecard binder, pen with words, coffee mug, green tea packets, candles and candle holders, bookmark, pencil binder, AND a copy of Writing 21st Century Fiction written by Donald Maass.


Crystal Collier said...

Sweet! Congrats on 4 years. That's epic. I'm totally going to play this November because I have two MAJOR writing deadlines coming at me, and man do I need the motivation. So, I'm committing to 50K in fiction. (Which may kill me, but hey, you only live once, right?)

Kathryn Thornton said...

Excellent Idea. I participated in and completed NaNoWriMo last year. You are correct that it does leave out the other disciplines of writing. I look forward to participating in your challenge. 50k fiction please.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

What a great idea! I love it that you've opened the traditional challenge to other writing disciplines. I'm going to participate in the 30 poems, one a day.

Congratulations on four years of blogging.

Rebecca Gomez said...

I don't think I will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, though I have done it before and last year was my first time "winning." I think I can manage 30 poems in 30 days, though. I need to flex my poetry muscles a bit! That will be in addition to doing PiBoIdMo (picture book idea month). Should be fun!

Unknown said...

I love that you're doing this! I have been struggling with my novel for quite awhile and have decided, because of your challenge, to commit 50,000 words to my work already in progress. I realize that is not your original intent but I think claiming the commitment will help me. Deadlines spur me on! Thanks Sylvia--and I enjoy your blog.

Unknown said...
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Ann said...

Awesome! I'm going to commit to 30 short stories. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

CrystalB said...

Oooh, I wanna win! You always have the best giveaways. I'm committing to 30 poems.

Unknown said...

Very cool! I'm committing to 30 articles in November. Which challenge are you committing too, Sylvia?

Sylvia Ney said...

Thanks everyone! I'll be working on a nonfiction project that has been on my mind for a while now. Hopefully, this is the motivation I need to start AND finish it!

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

I've been committed to spending the month of November in Destin Fl. to write articles for a long time now. This year I am adding the first two weeks of December to complete a non fiction book. I am so pumped!! Congrats to you on your blog anniversary & happy writing to everyone!

Unknown said...

I am committed to NaNoWriMo this year. I have been struggling for a while on my third novel for some time and really need this challenge to help get my mind clear. This is a great opportunity for us writers to get back to creating rather than write/edit/write/edit.

Mark Wayne Allen

Unknown said...

I'm committing to this. I have a work in progress that needs a boost!

Linda Todd said...

Hi Sylvia
What a neat idea. I'm committing to thirty poems.


Chris Baldauf said...

Hi Sylvia,
NaWriMo is a great idea. I'll commit to a novel. (Wow, not sure I said that.) Thanks for the boost.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love this twist! I'm already signed up for NaNoWriMo, can I sign up for NaWriMo too?

I can add a swag - ebook of Champion in the Darkness - if that works?

And congrats on your 4 year anniversary!

Sylvia Ney said...

Tyrean - Of course you can participate here as well! And the donation of the ebook would be great. I'll add a jpeg, and link to you on this post. Thanks for the support, and good luck on your NaWriMo project!

Kern Windwraith said...

I'm in! I'm already participating in NaNoWriMo, so I figure committing to NaWriMo will double my sense of commitment. Or possibly just double my need to be committed...

I'm signing up for option #1 - completing a 50K novel.

Unknown said...

I would say the 50k challenge but I think I'm disqualified because once I finished I started editing. I re-wrote my beginning. Of course, if you had red the beginning, you probably would have re-written it too. It was awful!