First Draught Takes On NaNoWriMo

Hi all! I will not be there for tonight's First Draught, but Mary Chris Escobar and Alexis Anne have brought in a ringer to take my place. Lindsay Emory will be joining us for this month's discussion on NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month). You can RSVP by clicking on this link, and be sure to be watching at 8:30 PM EST tonight for a great NaNoWriMo break or a little inspiration to start writing fearlessly!

Go Forth & NaNoWriMo

For my little band of writer friends, the end of October isn't a time to ask, "What are you and/or your kids going to be for Halloween," but rather, "Are you going to do NaNoWriMo?"

I've done National Novel Writing Month three times and "won" it once. Each time I've gotten something valuable out of the experience.

Sure, it's meant putting aside some basic human necessities like laundry and food that takes more than 10 minutes to prepare.* Hitting a 50,000 word count in the space of a month that also has holidays like Thanksgiving rolled into it is tough. But here's the thing. You're going to have 50,000 words of editable work if you win. Even if you don't, you're going to have something on a page and that's a lot easier to craft and edit than a blank Word document. .

After winning NaNoWriMo for the first time last year, I also noticed an unexpected side benefit: I write more. Rather than the 1K I was cranking out a night after my day job, my numbers started ticking up. If you break NaNoWriMo's word count down into equal parts, you wind up with 1,667 words a day.** Now I routinely write between 2,000 and 3,000 words a day, five days a week. That's a whole lot of words that I can directly attribute to NaNoWriMo ratcheting up my productivity.

So, to all of you who are on the fence about NaNoWriMo or anyone who has always wanted to write a novel but didn't know how to go about it, I'm challenging you to write along with me. The words you get out on the page don't have to be good. They just have to be words, and I want you to write them fearlessly.

Now go forth and NaNoWriMo!


*I basically live off of pesto and grilled chicken during the month of November.

**Once you write to that 1,667 words a day goal for a month, you will never be able to forget that magic number.

VIDEO: NaNoWriMo Day 25

I'm almost done! It's been a month of ups and downs, but I'm about 1,500 words away from hitting 50K and must closer to having a completed novel. I couldn't be happier heading into the hectic holiday time. I want to hear how your writing challenge is going. You can leave a comment here or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. Happy writing!

VIDEO: NaNoWriMo Day 22

Day 22 is here, and I'm back on track (thank goodness)! NaNoWriMoers, how are you guys doing with your own challenges?

This is the hero chat with Alexis Anne I mention in the video. And here's a link to the heroine chat too.

As always, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. Happy writing!

VIDEO: NaNoWriMo Day 15 (A Little Late)

Day 15 of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. I recorded this video yesterday night to talk about discouragement, stepping back from your book, and why burlesque dancers might help me find a creative kick again.

The burlesque club I went to is called the Slipper Room on Orchard and Stanton in Manhattan's Lower East Side. The dancers are incredible. You get everything from traditional strip tease to aerialists to performance art. Here are just a couple photos I snapped while I was out.

Rosabelle Selavy, burlesque, Slipper Room, aerial, trapeze

Emily Shephard, fan dance, burlesque, Slipper Room

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter! I'm also sharing writing inspiration at Tumblr and Pinterest.

If you're doing NaNoWriMo too, just search for Julia Kelly to add me as a writing buddy (and keep me honest!).

Happy writing!

VIDEO: NaNoWriMo is Here!

It's the first of November and that means all across the country crazy writers are saying yes to NaNoWriMo. The rules are simple: write a 50,000 word book in November. It sounds impossible, but it's definitely doable (although a challenge)! I want to invite you to join Alexis Anne*, Tracie Puckett, Lashell Collins and me as we write messy first drafts of the books that will (hopefully) eventually wind up on your shelves! Every once in awhile I'll post a video about my progress. Here's the first one:

*Alexis already has a NaNoWriMo first day video up on her blog. Check out how bright eyed and optimistic we are on Nov. 1. Hopefully we're still feeling that way by the 15th...