NaNoWriMo – Getting SET…



I know you’ve heard of getting all one’s ducks in a row, but hummingbirds are ferocious little things. I only need one of them. Beak is quite singular. There isn’t a whole row of him. I’m getting set for Sunday’s NaNoWriMo kick off and he alone perches atop my monitor, ready to peck at any ill-intentioned inner critic that may emerge during November to ridicule my writing.

Beak’s brutal in his role of protector. Really, he is! If you don’t believe me just lean in a little closer and sneer a bit. Be prepared to duck because he wields that beak like a two-edged sword. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. He’s poised to strike. (What? You think he looks like a little softie? Shhhhhh! Puleeeease don’t say that too loudly. I have to keep the IC at bay for an entire month.)

NaNoWriMo – Getting READY…

The final countdown to NaNoWriMo begins — “just three more sleeps”, as my family would say when awaiting the arrival of a much-anticipated event. Am I ready?


TypingTotemI’ve dusted off another of my writing totems that will remind me of the book I want to write and the typing that is necessary for its creation. Other than that, I’m heading into November 1st armed with a carton of Diet Coke, a fresh bag of coffee beans, a poorly developed plot plan and great expectations.


Chris Baty, founder of National Novel Writing Month, has written No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. In it he suggests a bit of “limited planning” is desirable but “overplanning” is dangerous.


“Past a certain point, novel planning just becomes another excuse to put off novel writing. You will never feel sufficiently ready to jump into your novel, and the more time you spend planning and researching, the more likely you’ll feel pressure to pull off a masterwork that justifies all your prewriting work.”*


Well, no worry about that! There’s no overplanning here, just a basic plot and a couple fog-enshrouded characters in mind. But with his voice of experience Chris also says, “I’ve learned you’re allowed to begin a novel simply by turning on the nearest  computer and typing. You don’t need to do research; you don’t need to understand anything about your characters or plan out your setting. It’s fine to just start.”*


He’s right. NaNoWriMo is touted to be “Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon”. So yes, I’m ready. Are you?


[* Chris Baty is the founder of NaNoWriMo and has organized the November writing frenzy every year since 1999.]

A Writing Talisman Can Provide Motivation

I just found an old post by Melissa Donovan on her Writing Forward blog that says, “In a sense, a writing talisman can be used to program your muse to come out and get to work, on cue,” and she offers some suggestions:

  • choose something to be a creative writing talisman,
  • “charge” the talisman to get it ready for use and then keep it charged (check out her article on how to do this),
  • believe in it, and
  • use it regularly whenever you need some inspiration.

Wouldn’t it be nice to apply talisman status to our computers so that whenever we sit down to write we will instantly be inspired? Hmmm, nope, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. But a talisman can put you in the mood, provide motivation, and remind you of goals.

WoodyMy writing buddy and mentor gave me this little wooden bear that is meant to be saying, “And you’re not writing because….?” He’s always there to remind me that I have a writing goal and I won’t reach it without consistently working at it. I’ve accumulated other talismen, too. I’ll post more pictures in coming days as I get psyched up to face the approaching NaNo writing challenge.

Do you have a favourite writing talisman? How does it work for you?