Do you remember the smell of a fresh, unopened box of crayons that signaled the beginning of a new school year when you were a child? The box was figuratively brimming with possibilities for exciting new adventures. JuNoWriMo is that fresh start with its lovely crayon smell for you as a writer!
This year, you will either start a new project or continue an existing work in progress (WIP). Both situations present you with a unique opportunity to kick your writing into high gear via a fresh start.
If you’re starting a new writing project, I encourage you to look at the options in front of you for making this your best, most inspiring project ever! Have you thought about writing in a completely new-to-you genre? Give it a try! All your words count, so be encouraged to step out into a new creative zone. How about writing from a different point of view than you usually use? Your settings and timeline could be different, too. JuNoWriMo is a wonderful time to experiment and see what feels right for you. Using the same format that has brought you creative fulfillment is a great thing, too… above all, this month is about exploring your own unique kind of creativity.
For those of you who are continuing a WIP, June also signals a new beginning for you because you can take this opportunity to not only dedicate more focused time to your project but also to look at it in a different light. A few quick yet highly effective changes to try include introducing new characters, varying the setting or adding to the plot, giving things an unexpected twist! Whatever works for you is the name of the game.
A few thoughts as you break open that new box of writing crayons: JuNoWriMo is fun. I know that 50,000 words might seem like a lot to write, but the biggest goal that I hope everyone reaches is to enjoy the creative process. Be patient with yourself. It’s okay to not know all the details yet. Everything about what you are doing is part of the progression. It will come together in due time. Don’t look back and don’t second guess yourself. Moving onward is a great tactic to use to squash your inner editor. It wants to pull you back to focus on what you have already done and what you “should” change, but the best way to initiate and sustain momentum is to keep going forward without question. Once the month is over, you’ll edit. But this is the time to let your creativity and ideas flow; just let go and have fun with it!
Be sure to get involved in JuNoWriMo’s wonderfully supportive community on both Facebook and Twitter. For me, this is what made JuNoWriMo stand out from any other writing challenge when I was first introduced to it years ago. The support of a smaller group means much more personal interaction with other writers. Our Facebook group is a haven for all kinds of comments and questions. We’ve undoubtedly covered it all at one time or another. Stop in and share your good days, challenging days, accomplishments and questions. We are there for each other.
Another tremendous advantage of which I want you to be aware is how helpful word sprints are when you’re striving for a high word count. Follow our Twitter account, @JuNoWriMo, and join in on our word sprints all month long. Just like in the Facebook group, everyone is so encouraging. You can’t beat the rush that comes from friendly competition with each other and yourselves. There are many days in past years that I was sure I’d wouldn’t make my daily word count goal, but once I participated in some sprints, I’d actually written more than planned. Our dedicated team of sprint leaders are there to help you pile up those words!
Happy writing to everyone! Have an enjoyable month with JuNoWriMo!
Elizabeth Conrad writes short stories and novel-length works in mainstream, fantasy, and science fiction genres and also enjoys singing and design.