Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Surviving NaNoWriMo: The Tough Mudder of Writing Challenges

Originally Posted on Signature Reads

That chill felt by writers at the sound of the words “National Novel Writing Month” is more than just a brisk fall wind. For seventeen years running, November has become a time of year associated with procrastination, scrawled notecards, and word-counts in the glorious tens of thousands — the literary equivalent of aTough Mudder challenge.

But no need for you to toil alone, or unaided. Those who return for NaNoWriMo year after year end up exchanging tips as well as battlefield stories. For example, New York City actor and producer Amy Lee Pearsall, whose participation hasn’t necessarily been continuous (“I’ve finished four times,” she told us. “I’ve begun more times than I can count”) but has become an essential part of her evolution as a writer, and so has the community that’s sprung up around the event.
For 2016’s crop of aspirants, further help is on the way. Signature is proud to introduce your new Ultimate Guide to Writing Advice, a downloadable booklet which great writers like Una LaMarche and Charles Baxter have stuffed with years’ worth of experience, condensed into a few practical lessons that will benefit anyone preparing to hurl themselves into the creative wilderness, facing what Andy Weir refers to here as “The Tyranny of the Blank Page.”

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