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Are you ready for Nano? #AmWriting #NanoWriMo


National Novel Writing Month.


Write 50,000 words in one month. Around the holidays.

That’s an average of approximately 1, 667 words per day.

I’ve attempted Nano three times, and succeeded twice. The first time, well, lets just say the results weren’t pretty. What helped me win was preparing before the month began – but then, I’m a plotter, LOL.

What I like best about Nano, though, isn’t whether I hit the word count or not, but diving into the habit of daily writing with specific goals in mind.

This year, I have a small goal. Write every day except for Sundays, and Thanksgiving. I’m not concerned with making the 50k, but I’m going to try for it 😀

With the last few months researching and building a new world and a new series, hopefully I’m prepared!

So, who’s doing Nano this year?

Have you done it before? How do you get ready for the push?


And if you’re interested, I’m higleyb on the Nano website if you’d like to add me as a friend


~Amber Kallyn

Crazy=Nano? Not For This Nut Job

Eerie mentioned it before me, it appears to be that time of year that all of our writing friends go off the deep end and commit to the horror/wonder that is Nano. I chose not to participate this year even though I am planning on getting a large word count in November. You may be thinking “why not join Nano when it aligns with your goals?”

I’ll tell you why: I’m neurotic. There are certain things that drive me nuts. Having to write exactly such and such words a day without a day off for thirty day straight makes me want to write about as much an article on the best cupcakes in the world makes me want to diet. I don’t like being held accountable to someone else’s lofty goals. I have seen people go far beyond the 50,000 that most people commit to. Hell, even Snarky texts me giant word counts, often. That is a lot of pressure.

I have admitted on this blog regularly that I will often have a few weeks of productivity followed by periods of zilch. That’s fine. I always want to be better, but having a group of computer friends seeing my word count of lack thereof makes me ostrich. Ostrich is where I bury my head in the sand and ignore it all together. Though it really isn’t different than my texting Wicked and Snarky word counts, there is a certain accountability in those texts but there is also a lot of flexibility and a lack of judgment.

I honestly believe I will have a more successful month if I am not doing Nano. So to those of you that have done your training, strapped on your writing shoes and are racing towards the finish line, know that I am at the finish line holding an awesome homemade sign that says something along the lines of “don’t look back, there are zombies!” So many people walk away from Nano in a great place in their writing. I am hoping that you are one of them. In the meantime this nut job will be busy on her own manuscript.

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo? Here’s some links to check out…

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

It’s that time of year again, rushing up fast to knock us on our ass.

50,000 words in one month.

Not just any month, but November, with the begining of the end-of-the-year holdiays, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping… yeesh.

So how do you write 50k in one busy month?

Planning. At least that’s the key for me.

How much planning do you need? That depends on if you’re a pantser or a plotter.

I round up some links you might enjoy checking out to gear up in prep for NaNo.

Kristen Lamb has a whole Nano series going on last week, from making sure you have a road map, to getting to know your characters.

Jami Gold discusses Fast Drafting (as created by Candace Havens)

And an interesting post I found discussing NaNo ~vs~ Fast Drafting by Tori MacAllister, written last November.

~ Enjoy and happy planning

NaNo Comes to an End, and Life Resumes as Normal


NaNo has come to an end.  I wasn’t able to meet my goal of 50,000 words, but there is always next year!  It was, however, a wonderful experience and really reminded me of how much writing I can get done if I prioritize it a little better.  How did you do?

It has been nearly a month without critiquing my fellow writer’s work, and without having my own work critiqued, so I have been very excited to get back to business as usual.  Our first night of critiques went really well.  I had thought, based upon my own writing, that our NaNo work wouldn’t be written at quite the same level it usually is, but everyone had wonderful submissions.

This got me thinking… if my fellow writers, some of whom have taken long breaks from writing, can write this quality of work in a month, what really holds us back as writers?  I think many of us struggle, feeling that our work isn’t good enough or isn’t going the way we want it to, but maybe just pressing forward and actually writing is half the battle.  Maybe when we get out of our heads and just write continuously, our work won’t be perfect, but it will get done, and often will be better than we even imagined.

So, I learned a valuable lesson during my first NaNo: most of the excuses we use to keep ourselves from writing are just that, excuses, and if we truly want to be writers, we need to push them aside and just focus on making writing a constant part of our lives.



The battle is almost won! With only a couple of days left, write! WRITE HARD! I know you can do it!

Get your final numbers in and no matter if you hit the glorious 50K or not, know YOU ARE A WINNER! You’ve survived another year of NaNo, and I, for one, am so very proud of you all!

As a matter of fact I’m so proud that I have a special treat for next week!  Oh yes, I have a great guest post coming from none other than C.E. MURPHY! Yep, you saw it right! C.E. Murphy, the wildly wonderful authoress of such awe-inspiring stories as seen in the Walker Papers, the Negotiator Trilogy and the Inheritor’s Cycle!  So come join next week and let your cramping hands relax as we visit with Catie Murphy!

And for those curious minds, my word count as of 11/29/12 is now….50,870!

See you all next week and rejoice, you are now a NANO VETERAN!


Week 3 #NANO check in…

Tally ho, my fellow writing warriors! We have hit the climax of our NaNo Battle! That’s right, we are now in our third week of conquering the blank page.  I’m sure there have been some grevious injuries, maybe a few fatalities, but fear not, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If nothing else there should be a stuffed turkey with your name on it today! Happy Thanksgiving!

So how am I faring?  It’s been a struggle–you would not believe how much crap Fate can throw in the path of your good intentions, but my word count as of 11/22/12 is:


Take a deep breath, slip out and run around with the small humans for an hour, leave your cave, get away for a brief breather.  Promise it will help you refocus before you dive in for the second half of the storm.

Stay strong, writer peeps…until next week!


#NANO week 2 check in…

Are you all still out there? Anyone poking their heads up out of their writer caves?  I noticed the world still seems to be marching on…

So now it’s two weeks in and I’m sure you’re wondering, just how dedicated have you been, Jami?  You have that job that pays the bill, the Prankster Duo, the Knight, the Hellhound the Garden Gnome in-laws…have you been able to keep it up.

Well, let’s find out:

Word count as of 11/15/12 is at….


Keep going, I promise you’re doing great.  If you’ve stumbled, pick yourself up, grab that implement of creativity and dive back in, there’s time!


#NANO Check In…

Okay so we’re now just over a week in to NaNo? Are we all hanging there?

Let’s see where my word count is today shall we?

November 8th and we are at:  

13,233 words

Keep writing my dedicated creative warriors!

Until next week….  


NANO, Just Writing

The plan for NANO (National Novel Writing Month) is to just write, not edit, not outline, just write.  But how do you just write?  What does that even mean?

When I begin writing, I naturally crave some kind of structure, some kind of guidelines to follow.  Often my characters take me off my decided path, but then, a new path is created based upon what my characters want.  Does that make any sense at all?

BUT, this month I am just writing.  I am creating words on a page, without my usual obsessive compulsive behavior.  I am not going to re-read my work (at least I’ll try not to).  This plan, however, really worries me.  I think I might end up creating more work for myself in the end by doing things in such an unorganized way.  But at the same time, I am really looking forward to trying a different writing process.  Hey, I may even realize I like this way of writing better!

What do you think?  Does writing without a plan simply cause more problems in the long run?


5….4….3…2….1…. WRITE!

Were you ready? I’ve been gorging on my “to-be-read” book pile on my nightstand all last week because I knew with November 1st looming on the horizon my free time was about to drop to below non existent.  The Evil 7 (technically 8) have all taken up the crusade and will head out today to begin our NaNo battle. Come join the mayhem!

 Even my Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor understands the battle before us…he’s agreed to become a Writer Widow for the next month and survive on the good graces of our local food delivery places.  Even the Prankster Duo has been warned!

My muse is armed and ready.  We have laid out our battle strategey, sharpened our pens, strengthened our fingers and cleared our calendar as much as possible. Don your weapons of choice, my friends, it’s time to march into the wild wicked world of writing!

Fair warning: my posts this month will just keep you updated on my kill counts…I mean word counts…for each week.  If your trust stead falters, shout out and we’ll be there to get you back in the saddle and on the warpath. 


…and don’t forget to see how many butchered phrases and bloodied punctuations we have conquered next week!


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