In 2011, I met a boy. That boy told me about something called “National Novel Writing Month” or NaNoWriMo as I shall henceforth refer to it. I thought this boy was the bee’s knees, so in 2012, I tried my hand at NaNoWriMo solely because it was something he planned to do.
For those not familiar with NaNoWriMo, the goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November which is best achieved by writing 1,667 words a day. The hardest part is making myself write every day. It’s so easy to just not write. Case and point, I’d been planning on writing this post for about three weeks now. But NaNoWriMo gets you writing.
I was writing and checking in on the official website: http://nanowrimo.org/ to log my progress, but it can be a long journey if you try to go it alone. I started checking out the forums on the website, eventually finding that there were local people participating in this (the boy was no longer local at the time) and there were going to be write-ins at the West Huntington library.
I was late for the first write-in, partially because I didn’t get there in time and partially because I sat in my car outside for fifteen minutes, working up the courage to go in. I’m so very glad that I did go in. Weekly meetings for NaNoWriMo not only played an instrumental role in helping me write just slightly over 50,000 words in November 2012, but also turned into monthly meetings with the people I now refer to as my writing group, the Wicked Wordsmiths of the West.
Before my first NaNoWriMo experience, no one read my work. I wouldn’t allow it. It was just for me, and I couldn’t bear the thought of other eyes falling on my written words. After NaNoWriMo and once I really got to know these people, I came to be comfortable sharing my work with them. Now I’m at a point that when I bring a piece to one of our meetings, I have certain members in mind whose feedback I hope to obtain while I’m there. Because I trust them now. And I respect their input. (Cue the studio audience: Awww)
About a year ago, I changed jobs which made attending meetings more challenging, and I missed for a while, but they kept me informed on Facebook as we started plans to release our own anthology. When I first heard we were writing a spooky anthology just in time for Halloween, I thought “Yes! This is right up my alley! …but maybe it’s time to write about something besides zombies…” Nope. I wrote about zombies. The Rules tells the story about two teenagers, Zack and Kinsey, who have an unfortunate brush with the undead on their way home from a date at the movie theater. The rules within the story were originally my own until someone during the editing process mentioned Zombieland, and to avoid looking like I was ripping off their rules, I included and directly referred to the Zombieland rules which made the whole story feel more complete to me in the end.
Our anthology, Wicked Words, came out on paperback on September 25, 2014 and the Kindle edition became available today, September 28, 2014. I have copies of both, and it blows my mind. All proceeds from the sale of the anthology to go the Wicked Wordsmiths of the West as an associaton dedicated to promoting an interest in writing and furthering the skills of other local writers who are also too afraid to get out of their cars to join us.
You can pick up a paperback copy of Wicked Words on Amazon here: http://amzn.com/1502401371
And the Kindle edition is available here: http://amzn.com/B00NTMUILC
Stay tuned for details about our release party/book signing in October at Empire Books in Huntington!
For those who are wondering about what 1,667 words looks like, this blog post clocks in at a mere 700.