Writers, Writers!

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We have lots of people participating in writing groups at our library this November. While the Camp NaNoWriMo version of National Novel Writing Month was popular in April, we weren’t sure if everyone was ready to go again this month. But…..we have LOTS of participants! Not only do we have several people who wrote books in April working on new projects now, we also have many new members…some who started their projects as recently as last week. Will everyone finish? Maybe not, but our library group is all about supporting each other and trying to encourage the act of creativity.

But I must add, our lone 12-year-old participant is kicking butt!  She is not only meeting her daily word counts, but surpassing them! Way to go, Beky!

The added fun this month comes from our Young Writers Group which meets each Sunday. The numbers have been expanding each week, so much so, we had to add another table this past Sunday to our Tween group! These kids take their writing seriously, let me tell you. We usually begin with a fun writing exercise, something to get them thinking creatively, and then we move on to reading some of our writing. The best thing? These young writers are always eager to take home a few new books, so they’re always being inspired! (All right, I’m sure some of the draw is about snacks, but you can’t write without snacks, can you?)

It’s nice to know our community has such a great interest in writing. Will one of these authors publish a book that will end up on our shelves one day? Who knows? It’s so exciting!

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They Came & They Wrote!

It’s the end of Week #2 in the Camp NaNoWriMo novel writing challenge, and our aspiring authors joined us at the library this past Sunday for a fun write-in. They brought lap-tops, tablets, scraps of paper, pens, coffee and inspiration! And then they wrote!

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We had lots of fun things planned for the afternoon, which was especially great because the library was closed to the public. Everyone picked their favourite spot and got down to business.

 

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Word sprints were the most exciting part of the afternoon…short 30-minute blasts of writing as much as possible. We even handed out prizes to the people who wrote the most in that time period.  It was tough, but everyone gave it their best shot.

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We still have 12 people writing with us this month, and everyone is making great headway! A couple of the writers have been coming into the library on almost a daily basis to either work in a quiet space, or use one of our computers.  It’s been fun to hear their breakthroughs and learn about their accomplishments.  And those that have been writing at home have sent emails every few days to report in.

We’re still sending out daily emails to give encouragement and lots of helpful tips to keep everyone focused and moving forward with their work. I can’t wait to see how the next two weeks will go! Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted!

Write a Book Next Month. Do it!

Yes, it’s almost upon us again…National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is also known. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s pretty self-explanatory…a month-long quest to write a novel. Beginning November 1st, you write like a madperson everyday and try to get 50,000 words completed by midnight November 30th. Sound easy?  It isn’t, but it might be fun, and it might be the start of something fabulous in your life.

Personally, I think November can be a tough month to do this. Most of us are busy preparing for the holidays, which seems to take an enormous amount of time.  But if you feel like you want to cram in an extra bit of pressure, I say go for it!  What have you got to lose (besides your sanity)? And this year, you can get the kids to participate as well, with the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program.

So, how do these programs work? While you could do this on your own, it’s fun to have some support.  Sign up, start prepping your ideas, and get ready to write starting November 1st.  Then, all you have to do is upload your daily word count (you can either put it in yourself, or upload your actual writing and they’ll add it up for you) and keep the words flowing. Don’t worry, they’re not going to steal your ideas and your work is still your own.  It’s just great incentive to see the number growing on your chart.  And who knows?  Maybe you’ll finish that novel after all.

There are pep talks, fun local connections (like writing zones in bigger cities where you can write alongside other NaNo’ers), and the chance to connect with other writers like yourself online. For the younger set, there are daily dares that will help get those creative juices flowing, and allow you to challenge yourself with daily writing goals.  While the adult goal is 50,000 words, the younger group is allowed to set their own reasonable goals (after all, their lives are busy…and they usually have to go to bed earlier than the rest of us!).

At the end, you “win” by getting to 50, 000 words.  Okay, you don’t actually win anything, except bragging rights, but they will send you a fun award widget you can post on your blog, website or other page for all your friends and family to see. (You don’t have to post it, of course. If you’re a closet writer, just keep it to yourself.) There are only eight days left to register and prepare.  Will you be ready?

Get ready for Camp!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to get the duffel bag packed and slather on the bug spray and sunscreen.  It’s camp time!  But this year, it’s for ADULTS, and it’s all about writing that novel you never have time for.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you’ll know that come November, many would-be writers lock their doors, ignore the laundry piling up and get their laptops charged for some serious writing sessions. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place for 30 days, and in that time, people challenge themselves to write at least 50,000 words…the length of the average novel.  It doesn’t have to be an award winner (although many great novels have been born of NaNoWriMo, including Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus) and everything you write remains yours.  This is just a fun way to get yourself motivated and be accountable to your goals for thirty days.

So…the idea of Camp NaNoWriMo sounds like fun! It runs during two separate months during the summer, June and August (maybe you’ll even get TWO novels finished) and allows people who register the option of treating it just like camp.  No, there won’t be any swimming lessons or campfire songs, but you can select to be in a “cabin” with specific writer friends, or go wild and take the random cabin option. Each group of 4 – 6 campers will be combined based on age or genre that you write, or you can be a rebel and opt out of a cabin completely.  Keep in mind, your fellow campers are going through the same struggle you are and they’ll be along to support you all month, and you can do the same for them.  If the going gets tough and you’re not meeting your word requirements, get out those pep talks and see how your cabin mates are doing it!

The best part of Camp NaNoWriMo?  It’s free!  And even if you sign up and don’t get very far, it’ll be lots of fun.  They send out great weekly letters to keep everyone motived and give people ideas.  Sound impossible?  Why not try something different this summer and write that novel you’ve always wanted to write.  It just might change your life!

It’s only October, but get ready for National Novel Writing Month!

Yes, NaNoWriMo is almost upon us again.  For those of you unfamiliar with the strange group of letters in the previous sentence, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month (it’s open to anyone though) and it challenges people to write that novel during the month of November.  No, it probably won’t be a piece of genius, but it provides incentive to get at least 50,000 words done in a month…enough to either start something great or just get anything down on paper.  For many people, the hardest part is getting started.

NaNoWriMo offers lots of fun things to help you along with your goal.  As you write each day (yes, you should set daily goals for yourself), you upload your word count and it will keep track of the total for you.  If you have a blog, they have great buttons to put on your site, and if you actually achieve the goal of 50,000 words, you’ll become a NaNoWriMo winner and they’ll give you a button to post that says so!  Wouldn’t you love for all your friends and family to know you’ve written a novel? Now’s your chance!

This is really just a fun effort, something to do as the days and nights get chilly and we’re not outside as much. But there are plenty of great reasons to do it other than that.  It’s a worthy goal, and who knows, you might really find out you enjoy writing. You might even decide that your work is worth spending more time on. If so, there are lots of great resources on their website to start looking at in December, if you feel like you want to do something with that novel.

NaNoWriMo is free, although you can donate to help with administration costs, it’s open to anyone 13 or older (they also have a Young Writers Program), and it’s just plain fun! Yes, you’ll have to upload that novel to their website for verification of wordcount, but it won’t be displayed to anyone. And while a person could just upload any old words (yes, even the same word 50,000 times), since there’s no real prize here except self-satisfaction, it doesn’t benefit anyone to do so.

So, while it’s only October, now is the time to start plotting that novel, visiting websites to learn about character development and pacing, or coming to the library to take out a few books on writing in general. You can even plan on bringing in your laptop and sitting here to write during November. It would be fun to have a few patrons participate this year!
Will YOU take the challenge and write that novel?


http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Twiller on Twitter

Twitter

I haven’t quite come to grips yet with the idea of constantly updating my tag line on Facebook to let my friends know what I am up to each day.  Okay, I must confess that I do enjoy seeing what my friends are up to, how they are feeling that day and so on, but I rarely post anything myself.  Why not?  I’m not trying to keep my privacy, really, I just don’t think enough to do it.  But updating your life online has started to go in a new direction.

There was quite a bit of talk in the news recently about a man who was arrested in Egypt and all he had time to do was send a quick one-line note on Twitter to say he was in trouble.  And sure enough, that was all that was needed for someone to start the process to get him released.  What is Twitter?  Twitter is a free service that lets you update your life as often as you wish.  You just sign in and post whatever is on your mind.  You can see what other people are doing with a random sort of “news” ticker. In fact, it can be fascinating to see what people are saying. Sometimes, there isn’t much going on, and other times, you’ll get a few juicy tidbits about people you will never know, but obviously lead interesting lives. So if Twitter can be useful in times of need, or just for fun, what else can it be used for?

Several authors around the globe are starting to post their novels on twitter…..a word or a line at a time.  They are calling this a “Twiller”. You can sign up to follow someone’s twitter posts exclusively so that you don’t miss out on anything they are saying or doing, so posting a novel online little by little is an interesting concept…..only if your novel is interesting, I’d think.  I’m not sure I’d stick with something that was going to take months, even years to complete, if it was just one boring word after another.  But who knows….maybe this is the new way to write.  We demand everything these days to be instant, as our free time is so short, so reading a novel as it is posted could be just what readers are demanding.  What do you think?

You can read more about this idea here.

And for the article on the man arrested in Egypt, you can see more here.