~ By Leigh Duvan
5 months ago I decided to pursue writing fiction on a professional level to fulfill a lifelong dream. My genre: Contemporary Romance.
I found my way to our RWA chapter after a 15 year break from membership and a first writing attempt. My career took over and my love or writing continued with minor professional pursuit. I write blog posts and business articles related to my “non writing” profession on a regular basis. The writing process doesn’t always come easy to me yet it doesn’t scare me either. I have a lot to learn about process and am one to never step away from a challenge. Somehow, someway, that I don’t even remember, I found NanoWriMo back in June.
I started a free account and became a lurker on their website. Fascinated by the challenge of writing 50,000 in 30 days, I contemplated pursuing the challenge. The idea stayed in the back of my mind. The summer came to a close and school started for the kids and life got busy again. October arrived, along with my birthday and an email from NanoWriMo.org letting subscribers know we had less than 30 days until the 2013 Challenge begins.
NanoWriMo.org is an organization that serves writers of all genres, not just romance. They expect over 500,000 writers to participate this year.
Here’s a link to their press release announcing November’s National Writing Month:
It’s a simple process.
You sign up for a free account on http://NanoWriMo.org and fill out your profile where you share a bit about yourself and story. Then come back on November 1st and start entering your daily word counts. At the end of the month if you’ve completed your 50,000 words you submit your story for verification.
And here’s why I like the idea.
a) You’re goal is to write, write, and write everyday for thirty days which holds you accountable to yourself to reach a goal of 50,000 words
b) You’re not expected to complete a perfect novel, it’s a draft (that made me feel much better).
c) Your goal is the get the story out and see what flows. If you like a challenge with a prize at the end, then this is for you. Games like these help me get unstuck.
d) There’s a whole community of writers in all genres that comes together once a year to go for the challenge and help each other
e) There’s local meetings and online support to mix and mingle with other writers.
As a matter of fact, I made the “final” decision to participate a few days ago when I went to my local “NanoWriMo 2013 Kick Off Event” here in my town, to check it out and see if it really was a fit. I met other writers of all genres and thank goodness there was one other Contemporary Romance Writer there too.
And so here among my friends, I publicly commit to NanoWriMo 2013 – 50,000 words in thirty days.
Bottom line, I realized that my writing is personal to me and I’m the only one who can do it. Yet as the song sings: We get by with a little help from our friends.
You see, I’m a mom of two busy kids and I have a business that keeps me busy 40-60 hours a week. If I don’t do something like NanoWriMo to challenge me I could see letting more time slip away from me without my stories being told. I’ve already prepped my husband for support.
I’m using this opportunity to jump start myself and remove all excuses. I’d love you to come along with me. Think about it, what’s the worst that can happen? I’m very competitive and I want to complete the full challenge of 50,000 words and you know what? Even 20,000 words would be more than I have complete now and I’d be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going in with the mission of making it all the way.
It’s a 30-day challenge. A thirty-day habit builder, a thirty-day commitment to my characters.
Find out more about NanoWriMo on their website: http://NanoWriMo.org and if you decide to participate make sure to let me know and I’ll add you as a buddy.
Leigh Duvan lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, 2 young children, 2 dogs and the man they call Grampy. She writes sweet and sassy romance and is working her way towards publication of her first Single Title Contemporary. Whenshe’s not writing or reading romance novels, Leigh spends her time researching her characters experiences through her “other life” as a marketing professional in the Technology Industry, which gives her the opportunity to travel the world and meet all kinds of interesting people. You can connect with her at: http://facebook.com/leighduvanfans