NaNoWriMo is a writer's challenge to produce a 50,000 word document during the month of November.
Two years ago, my BFF and writing buddy MFunk and I attended a Halloween midnight NaNoWriMo kickoff meeting at an IHOP in Bloomington MN. We sat quietly in a corner booth typing away as we usually do when we get together to write. We both already had several projects we were working on, and hoped to use NaNoWriMo as a way to motivate ourselves to push a little harder for the next 30 days. The room was loud, with all kinds of characters (and costumes), most of whom identified as science fiction writers. At midnight, they hit a timer and everyone typed away, trying to see how many words they could churn out in 15 minutes, and then we went around the room and reported our totals. I had the least amount, and never attended another NaNoWriMo event again.
But this year, two years later, I am proud to say that I just published the book I was working on at that meeting! The Shadow's Shine turned out to be a psychological thrilled that is quite appropriate for Halloween. While I had started it when teaching creative writing at Lakeville HS in 2004, it really started to take shape during that NaNoWriMo month of 2018. (my BFF is weeks away from publishing hers as well!)
So, tomorrow MFunk and I are meeting at her place. We've invited a few other writers to zoom in as we share what our projects are this year. I'll be writing the curriculum companion guide to The Shadow's Shine, entitled Making Friends with Grief.
As a practice, MFunk and I meet twice a week to write together for 3 hours. We never talk details about our writing, nor do we workshop or share what we are writing. We typically just talk a bit about how we feel about our writing, and then we write. That's the key. We write. Three hours. Mostly uninterrupted. We will continue this through NaNoWriMo this year. But this time, we are pushing ourselves to both finish the first full draft by November 30th.
check back here for blog postings about how this goes throughout the month.