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It's almost time. Time for NANOWRIMO.org - National Novel Writing Month. It's this crazy exercise you do and, PRESTO, if you do it right (no pun), at the end of November you have 50,000 words, a good novel draft.

I did it last year and kickstarted, in a big way, the novel I have been subsequently working on. After futzing around since then with it, I can't decide what I'm going to do starting this November 1 -- will I work diligently on new material for the novel? Or, will I start all over again with a completely different story? Tick tock. I have a week to figure it out.

No matter what I decide, I will have ass-in-seat for about 1600-1700 words per day of some kind. Yes, it is a vomit draft kind of thing, but it's amazing what you can get down and out of your head if you do this exercise. For me, it's about an hour a day of concentrated writing time… no emails, Facebook, phone answering, or news blaring in the background. No re-reading, no editing, no going back over a previous days words. If for no other reason, it's a fabulous month of a certain kind of writing discipline.

Take a look at the website and decide, writing friends, if this might be for you. You can sign up (it's all free) and talk with fellow writers about how things are going, or get tapped into local/regional events, write-ins, etc. with people you know or maybe don't know who are doing the same thing. You can also track your daily word count, too. Which ends up being kind of fun. Even if what you write on any particular day feels like blather, you'll be surprised what you came up with when you read it all later… really.

Here in Ashe County we have a group that meets at the library to compare notes, sometimes share what we're working on, and generally hang out and drink supportive tea (that's a special kind) once a week. This Friday, we're going to have a meeting to decide what we're going to do this November.

One of the great things that happened last November was that three of us from the Nanowrimo meetings at the library decided to form a writing group and we have been meeting every 3-4 weeks since. A group like this is a great way to keep your feet to the fire and your ass in a seat writing -- you don't want to let your writing buddies down!

I'll keep you posted on how this November's Nanowrimo goes.
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