Until I joined a writer’s critique group at a local library, I had never heard the term “NaNoWriMo”. I thought maybe it was some kind of Japanese thing like anime or something. The term is short for, and a fun way to say, “National Novel Writing Month”.
From November 1-Novemeber 30, writers participating in NaNoWriMo commit to complete a 50,000-word manuscript*. That’s a pretty decent commitment in and of itself. But then you add to it the art of storytelling. What’s the point of spending your time adding 50,000 words to a manuscript if nobody will want to read it?
For that reason, I have decided the month of October would be the perfect time to launch a blog series entitled, “Just Let Me Write” This series will feature lessons that I have learned during my short time as a writer. And will continue to feature updates as I continue learning and developing in my storytelling.
I’m sure, at this time, you may be asking one of the most common questions I get when attending public events like school assemblies or book signings: How long have you been writing?
Since I was five or six. How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first story in kindergarten or first grade. It was a little flip book about Jack the Dog. No idea where I came up with the name, can’t remember what the book was about (probably have it buried somewhere around here) but it was my first story.
From there, I began writing through all kinds of outlets: poems, scripts, children’s stories, short stories, book series, parodies, and song lyrics. I loved reading books because of the adventures I was able to take with the characters. For the same reason, I loved writing even more. With writing, I could create the characters I would be taking adventures with.
In 2007, I published my first book and I was extremely excited to finally have something “professional” to share with my friends and family members who had taken interest in my stories. I’d no longer have to waste a ream of computer paper to share what I had written.
Around 2013, I published my first woman’s novel Annabelle’s Boots in addition to many of the children’s books I had worked on during my teenage years.
About this same time, I unknowingly became a publishing consultant and ghostwriter. I say ‘unknowingly’ because at the time I was just helping people accomplish their dreams of getting their stories out.
A year later, I found myself professionally ghostwriting for publishing companies.
Through all this, I continued with regular 9-5 jobs and really saw my writing more as a hobby than a profession. I wasn’t comfortable labeling myself as an “author” or “writer” because in my mind I lacked the degrees and book sales to be classified as a professional in the field.
In 2019, I decided to throw out my fears and jump all in. I was an author and I needed to act like one. I launched Teddyfly LLC and decided I would use the platform to feature my books and, if possible, help other writers along the way.
Now, what was the original question? Oh yes, why should you take time to read my blogs during the month of October? What qualifies me to give advice about writing? Let’s just say I got my writer’s education from the School of Hard Knocks located at 321 Writer’s Block.
If you’re looking for some degrees and letters behind my name to back up what I have to say, you’ll probably want to skip this segment of my blog. However, if you don’t mind learning from someone else’s mistakes this is the perfect place for you.
I am so excited to tell you about the thing that excites me most: stories. But this is not one sided. If you have questions about something I’ve said or advice to add please take a moment to do so.
And to all the 2020 NaNoWriMo authors, it will take discipline but you can make it happen!
*What does 50,000 words in a month look like? Every NaNoWriMo participant would have to write this blog two and a half times daily (approximately 1667 words) for 30 days to complete their goal.
#NaNoWriMo #writerscommunity #authorlife #storytelling
Nicole Donoho, owner of Teddyfly LLC, enjoys writing stories for all ages. She currently lives in Northwest Arkansas where she takes in the beauty of the Natural State with her husband, Jacob, and their three sons-Elijah, Josiah, and Solomon.