Cheri Lasota on NaNoWriMO

This post, consisting of an introduction from Hannah Warren followed by a guest blog post from Cheri Lasota (aka StirlingEditor) originally appeared on Hannah Warren’s site on 10/11/11.

A bunch of us writer folk are extra-extra sharpening our pens, giving our butts long dress rehearsals in our office chairs, scratching our heads for luminous ideas, pumping the creative fluid through our veins or doing much weirder stuff, because… because … it’s almost 1 November. No, not because All Hallows is on the calendar but because of NaNoWriMo, acronym for National Novel Writing Month.


Wiki: “National Novel Writing Month is an annual internet-based creative writing project which challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel in one month. The project started in July 1999 with just 21 participants, but by the 2010 event over 200,000 people took part – writing a total of over 2.8 billion words. Writers wishing to participate first register on the project’s website, where they can post profiles and information about their novels, including synopsis and excerpts. Word counts are validated on the site, with writers submitting a copy of their novel for automatic counting. Municipal leaders and regional forums help connect local writers with one another for holding writing events and to provide encouragement.”

Ok. Gulp.

I’m taking part for the first time this year *scratches head again* because I’ve heard many great stories of friends who participated and went on to publish their novels. I need to dive more deeply into my second book Prior to You and get over a severe form of procrastination. Hope it will give me the necessary kick up the bum.

A laurelled NNWM veteran is my American friend Cheri Lasota, editor, published author, filmmaker, composer and ski patroller (among others) and she kindly offered a repost of the blog she wrote last year on this phenomenon of pouring 50,000 words on paper in the course of 30 days.

Apart from information on the pros and cons of NanoWriMo, this is also a call-up to post your Nano name in the comment section below so we can make a buddy list and cheer each other through the month of November.

National Novel Writing Month: A Rebuttal

by StirlingEditor on December 8, 2010

On Nov. 2, 2010, Salon​.com Co-​​Founder Laura Miller wrote a scathing review of National Novel Writing Month. I came across this arti­cle, iron­i­cally, in one of the forums on the NaNoWriMo web­site. The Salon arti­cle touched off a firestorm of contro­versy, and I must say, it def­i­nitely helped me define my own thoughts on the matter.

I’ve long cred­ited National Novel Writing Month with sav­ing my writ­ing career from dying a slow, painful death. I still hold to that now that I’ve won for the first time in five years of participation. Why did it take so long? I am a long-​​time fic­tion edi­tor, and frankly, it’s damned hard to shut up my crit­i­cal editor’s brain so that my shy cre­ative side can finally whis­per its ideas to me. NaNoWriMo’s insane goal of 50,000 words in one month made it impos­si­ble for me to stop and edit myself. I’m a deadline-​​oriented writer. And it is the same for many oth­ers. NaNoWriMo helps us to focus. That was cer­tainly the case for me, and I applaud any­one who even attempts this colos­sal feat.


Read the rest of the post on Hannah Warren’s site. If you’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, be sure to list your NaNoWriMo username in the comments section of the post on Hannah Warren’s site.