Tag Archives: challenge

Pep Talk Week 2: 4 Tips to Succeed this June

Robert Chazz Chute offers his tips on how to succeed this June!

So, you’ve decided to commit to writing 50,000 words or more this month. Blood oaths have been sworn. You promised yourself, as God is your witness, you shall be a novelist! Heroes will sing your praises in Valhalla this night. As it was foretold in the prophecy, you shall write and you will finish to great acclaim. Beer, Cherry Cokes and champagne for everybody!

Good. Now that we’ve got the drama, grand pronouncements and the first flush of enthusiasm out of the way, let’s settle some priorities and expectations so you, too, can win JuNoWriMo and the love of your cold, aloof parents.

  1. You have made your writing a high priority this month. You matter and what you want is of value. We’re talking hopes and dreams here! No shame in such selfishness.

That affirmed, know that you will have to tell someone no this month. You’ll probably have to defend your writing time against the onslaught of several someones repeatedly. Fine. Do so. Your family, friends and enemies will still be around to suck the life out of you when you’re done your word count for the day. Put your writing session on your calendar just like you would an appointment for a colonoscopy. You probably wouldn’t look forward to a such a procedure, but you definitely would not miss such an important appointment.

Yes, your writing is just as important as meeting a doctor with a startlingly long air hose, a camera and a penchant for proctology.

  1. You are here for the writing and this will be fun. Not always, of course. If scratching out words were an easy  and endless gigglefest, everyone would be a novelist. There is a trick that will help you through the rough spots: just as with a bad movie, you can always fix your manuscript in post.

Write confidently. Write swiftly. Don’t look back. Push through to the end. Editing and worry is for later. The key to a great book is to start with a crappy one. There will be plot holes. You can fill those in another time. Too often, writers compare the wretchedness of their first draft to some genius’s finished work. Trust me, that so-called genius looks like half an idiot in his or her first draft, just like you and me. Relax into the inevitability of disappointment with your first attempt.

This isn’t baseball. In writing, you can take as many swings as you like until you hit a home run. Writing is a sport for cheaters. We keep our lousy attempts in locked drawers and the fans only see our triumphs in highlight reels.

  1. I guarantee you will have a ton of fun with this challenge if you resolve to stop being so precious about writing. We fetishize the act like some dudes dig the smell of leather when they’re naked. We talk instead of write. We develop elaborate rituals, light candles and demand everything be perfect before we can begin. We think too much about how hard writing can be. But wait! Remember physical labor? Remember that sunburnt summer you got a job as a roofer pouring hot tar and day after airless day was a heatwave full shimmering punishment? Or what about that summer retail job that was so bad you studied harder in September so you would never have to work that counter at the mall again?

The quiet solitude of writing combined with the social support of JuNoWriMo is heaven compared to those mundane horrors. Writing is play. Look around. Writing is everywhere. You can already write so don’t make too big deal of it. If you want to be a novelist, be a novelist and be grateful. Storytelling looks just like typing at first. After we learn more craft, we call it writing. Eventually, we call ourselves writers and it doesn’t even sound weird when spoken aloud. Your parents will remain fretful and unsupportive, sure. But hey, you knew Mom and Dad weren’t going to change.

  1. I know you probably think writing should be hard. I had a lot of false starts thinking that way. When I got into traditional publishing, I had a romantic view of the profession. Then I drove authors to signings where no customers showed up and the author blamed me. I attended literary parties hoping for witty repartee with great minds. Sadly, the number of geniuses in the publishing industry is no more nor less than what you’ll find among any random clutch of accountants, plumbers or dentists. Elite publishing parties are more about bon bons than bon mots. You’ll find ego, avarice and envy at those cocktail soirees, but surprisingly little material for your next book.

Freedom came when I let go of all those trappings and got to the core of what you and I do. We write. Creative writing is a meditative, hopeful act of faith. When the words are coming fast, a neural engine chugs along that changes the way you think and feel. You won’t know where the ideas are coming from but it feels magical. Writing is the only magic I believe in.

This is a great thing you are attempting. If you hold on to that, you’ll persevere. Congratulations on getting started. I hope you discover a great story along the way and end up with something you’ll love. Remember, you don’t have to love it all the time. Sometimes the only virtue in the exercise is that you made your daily word count so you don’t have to write more today. Fix it in post. Tomorrow, find the fun again. Repeat until complete. Write so much and so freely that you stumble upon the magic.

Throwing down words to build stories is addictive. Let’s get high on this wonderful drug. Once you crush this goal, you’ll probably find that 50,000 words was a great start. Most serious writers I know write at least 50,000 words every month. That’s how you know you must be victorious in JuNoWriMo. If mere mortals can complete this task or something like it twelve times a year, surely you can do it once. As your confidence grows, what once seemed difficult will become easier. This might even turn out to be your new day job.

But you don’t have time to read this. Write now right now.

Robert Chazz ChuteA former journalist full of self-loathing, Robert Chazz Chute is now an award winning suspense novelist (still full of self-loathing.) He writes assorted apocalyptic epics, SFF and crime thrillers that would make your momma pee the bed. Learn more at AllThatChazz.com and love him, dammit! Since you’re climbing JuNoWriMo, you might especially like Crack the Indie Author Code.

How to Have a Successful JuNoWriMo, No Matter What!

Honorée Corder, author of twenty books (and counting!) kicks off our series of JuNoWriMo 2016 pep talks with a plan to make this month a successful one.

HonoreeCorderHeadshotCongratulations on your decision to embark on JuNoWriMo! Right now I am sure you are filled with the excitement that can only come with a shiny new project. Executed well, in 30 days you will be the proud owner of a completed manuscript. And right now, you might be feeling invincible… as though not a thing or person could possibly stand in your way or take you off course.

I do hope that is the case, but I know better than almost anyone that just about the moment I 100% commit to something, at almost exactly that same moment the universe conspires to test me. (How rude!)

I want to help you get from June 1 to June 30 with finesse, style, and ease. Let’s go ahead and set you up for super success so that no matter what happens you will crush it!

Number one: the goal. If you’re like me the goal isn’t just 50,000 words, you have a story or outline already percolating in the back of your mind that comes with a title or even an ending. But on the off-chance you don’t have a specific goal, go ahead and set one. Something like: Complete 50,000 words toward my manuscript by June 30th, or, Finish Game On! The Ultimate Guide to Getting All You Want from Your Life and Your Work (my current WIP).

Write your goal on a 3×5 card and look at it twice a day: right when you wake up, and right before you go to sleep.

Signed Up, Bought the T-Shirt… Now What?

Hm, now what…

junowrimo facebook picThat’s a good question.  Since this is a writing challenge, based mostly on the classic NaNoWriMo, you probably can guess the first thing to do would be write… and you’d be correct.  But we have so much more to offer our members beyond a dramatically increased word count and super-cool t-shirts.

JuNo volunteers offer sprints all through the month to get you inspired.  We’ll mostly be sprinting via Twitter @JuNoWriMo, but we have a dynamic Facebook group too for ideas, prompts, and even the occasional coffee clutch discussions we all need between bouts of word-frenzy.  If you want, there is a word count tracker here and here (older format for people without the latest Office).

We are a community that shares successes and failures and keeps going.

And we write.

So now that you’re here, what do you say?  Think it’s time?  Then…

Just write button

Sign Up for #JuNoWriMo 2014 and Enter to Win Cool Stuff

Gearing Up

JuNoWriMo Button_edited-1

What is JuNoWriMo? It’s your opportunity to write 50,000 words in 30 days, whether it be a novel, a non-fiction work, or a handful of short stories. Whatever your project is, we’re here to help you make it happen.

We’ll challenge you with word sprints and dares, we’ll inspire you with pep talks, and – most importantly – we’ll be your support system when the writing gets rocky. The JuNoWriMo community is awesome when it comes to encouraging each other for success. There’s a closeness here you won’t find in other writing challenges. Jump in our forums for a brainstorming session, to hash out a story issue, or to simply connect with other writers. Win badges you can display on your Facebook page at each word count milestone.

The point is, if you have something you want to write “someday,” write it with us in June!

Sign Up ~ Win Stuff

This post kicks off the second in a series of giveaways for anyone who registers for JuNoWriMo 2014. If you’ve done JuNoWriMo in the past, you’re eligible, too. Just log in to your profile and update your status to show us you’re in for another year. (You can enter all three giveaways, so if you didn’t win the last one, now’s your chance to try again!)

There will be three winners for this giveaway. The first prize is a writer care package full of awesome goodies such as: chocolate, tea, pencils, pens, sticky notes, notebooks, finger-less mittens, a hand-painted JuNoWriMo bookmark, and more! A big shout out to JuNoWriMo crew members Angi Black and Vicki Trask for donating this awesome care package!

Our second prize is a JuNoWriMo coffee mug. Keep your beverage of choice at hand as you write your way through June – this mug is the perfect companion.

Screen shot 2013-06-01 at 11.43.22 AM

The final prize in our giveaway is a helpful tool for preparing for JuNoWriMo. Alicia Wallace at Word Wielder is giving away an hour-long novel prep session to one lucky winner. What better way to get ready to write that book?

Giveaway

More than anything, we want you to tell other people about JuNoWriMo, so you get BONUS giveaway entries for a couple of things. First, write a blog post to gain 5 bonus entries.

Second, print out this flier and post it locally at coffee shops, libraries, bookstores, or anywhere you have permission. Take a picture so we can see where you posted the flier, and you get another 5 bonus entries (you’ll post this image online, either on a public Facebook page/Pinterest/Instagram/Flickr or on your blog – just somewhere we can view it publicly).

***Note: photo must be clear enough to show us both the interior of the location AND the posted flier (not just a close-up image of the flier) to be a valid entry.

Another way to get bonus entries is to donate to JuNoWriMo. Any donation made in 2014 (minimum $10) gets you 5 bonus entries!

What are you waiting for? Sign up now, then enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to tell all your friends so they can join us, too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sign Up for #JuNoWriMo 2014 and Enter to Win Prizes!

Happy April!

Ludicrous SpeedGuess what – it’s April! That means there’s only two months until June. And what happens in June? JuNoWriMo, of course!

What is JuNoWriMo? It’s your opportunity to write 50,000 words in 30 days, whether it be a novel, a non-fiction work, or a handful of short stories. Whatever your project is, we’re here to help you make it happen.

We’ll challenge you with word sprints and dares, we’ll inspire you with pep talks, and – most importantly – we’ll be your support system when the writing gets rocky. The JuNoWriMo community is awesome when it comes to encouraging each other for success. There’s a closeness here you won’t find in other writing challenges. Jump in our forums for a brainstorming session, to hash out a story issue, or to simply connect with other writers. Win badges you can display on your Facebook page at each word count milestone.

The point is, if you have something you want to write “someday,” write it with us – in June! Our theme this year is Ludicrous Speed Ahead, because that’s how we want you to go at it. Jump into your book and write the whole darn thing in a month. Sound difficult? You can do it!

(If you don’t know why we’re traveling at ludicrous speed, it’s because light speed is too slow.)

Sign Up ~ Win Stuff

We’re hosting a series of giveaways for anyone who registers for JuNoWriMo 2014. If you’ve done JuNoWriMo in the past, you’re eligible, too. Just log in to your profile and update your status to show us you’re in for another year. The first giveaway begins NOW!

What can you win? We’re giving away a writer care package that includes: a notebook, tea, a shot glass, pens, art cards, a keychain, and more. A big shout out to JuNoWriMo crew member Alicia Wallace for donating this awesome care package!

junopackage

Our next prizes are generously donated by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. They are giving away two copies of either of their books (winner’s choice), The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus, two excellent writing tools for figuring out your pesky characters before June.

Neg and Pos

The final prize in our giveaway is another helpful tool for preparing for JuNoWriMo. Alicia Wallace at Word Wielder is giving away an hour-long novel prep session to one lucky winner.

Giveaway

What are you waiting for? Sign up now, then enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to tell all your friends so they can join us, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***Important note: If you’re already signed up for JuNoWriMo, you should have gotten a newsletter email from us over the weekend. If you did NOT get the newsletter, contact us and we’ll get you added to the list. We’ve had some issues getting previous participants subscribed to our newsletter, and we don’t want you to miss out on anything! If you are registering for the first time, you’re safe.***