Do you daydream and people-watch? Do you have an imagination that surprises you or even scares you at times??? If you identify with this, then chances are that you, my friend, are a storyteller. But have you dared to tell your stories? Have you taken what's in your mind and put it down in words? Today our guest is Tara Haring, an amazing writer and my best friend. You can check out her blog here but first read below. She has a challenge for you. Yes, you.
It's National Novel Writing Month!
Have you heard of it? If you haven't, here's what you need to know:
"National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel."
To sign up, go here or sign up for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program here. The site and community are amazing. There are pep talks from famous authors delivered to your NaNo mailbox; forums for encouragement, brainstorming, and answers to questions (I needed an idea for a prank in my story one year and the community did not disappoint); local writing events and you get a fancy nickname - you become a "WriMo."
If you win not only have you written a book, but you get prizes. Things I've won in the past were discounts on book writing software, a couple of free hardcopies of my manuscript, bragging rights and a fancy certificate that I can hang on my wall.
But, those are just the details. First, you have to make a decision.
I'm sure there are a few of you who dream of being a writer. For some of you, it's the only thing you want to be. I was just like you once. I remember my first composition, which I am proud to say, blew the minds of my fellow classmates and made me realize I had a gift. It was a story about cupid (yeah, fictitious bow wielding angel) complete with crayon illustrations. I was in fourth grade. It doesn't seem impressive when compared to 50,000 words (in 30 days!) but at the time my peers were amazed that I could write so much. Three whole paragraphs. And over the years I started to realize, I was different than my friends. I had stories inside of me and words were my playground. But, I never put that pen to paper, those stories, they only lived in my head. I wonder about what would have happened if I had written a novel as a teenager. The final product would have been terrible, without a doubt, but, I would have done something that millions of people daydream and talk about doing . . . someday, before I was even out of High School. You can do that. You may not publish your first NaNoWriMo novel but the truth is that for most people, even successful writers, a first novel never sees the light of day. Or if it does, it's only after it's been rewritten half a dozen times. Writing is for those who are patient and willing to work, hard.
I want this for you. I want you to write your first novel this month. It doesn't matter what it is. Write a fantasy life for yourself with that really cute boy who you only wish would notice you. It doesn't have to be good. Nobody has to see it. Just write it. Get your first book out of the way and the next one will be better and the next one after that, maybe it will be worthy of publishing. Write. Practice. Work. Do it now and change your life.
Do you remember in December of last year, your lovely host (and my greatest friend) Nicole blogged about choosing a word to be your focus for your goals and positive change for 2013? I thought about that for an entire month before I settled on not one word, but a phrase.
Today is the day. It really is.
If you want to be a writer, do NaNoWriMo. You will become the person you dream of being, not in a few years or the distant future, but at the end of this month. Do you realize how amazing that will feel?
I know you are in school. I know you are busy. I know you have homework, tests, sports, plays, orchestra, friends and the holidays are coming up. My life is just as busy but this is my third year (you can witness my struggle and victory here, here and here) participating and I love it. It makes you frustrated, it requires sacrifice, sleep-deprivation and hard work but just tell yourself, "I can do anything for 30 days." It is so worth it and it is so fun.
Do not question whether it's possible. Make the decision and do it. In the immortal words of Yoda, "Do. Or do not. There is no try."
NaNOWriMo is the time. Today is the day.
Now, go sign up, the clock is ticking.
(If you sign up and want to become my NaNo buddy - I would be honored - my username is tharing. Happy Writing!)