Why You Should Write a Book in June
JuNoWriMo is our spin off of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) that takes place in June, challenging you to write 50,000 words in thirty days. In the past two years, JuNoWriMo has inspired hundreds of writers to get their books written, and I’ve asked a few of them to share their personal stories. Today Margaret McNellis sums up her experience in one word: Exciting.
Why should you write a book in June? THIS is why.
E is for Exciting by Margaret McNellis
My 2013 JuNoWriMo experience came at an ideal time in my life. I’d just found out that I was getting laid off because the office where I worked was shutting its doors. I had several story ideas buzzing around in my head, waiting to be drafted. I was seeking a challenge.
I initially planned to write about 30,000 words. Thirty days in June meant 1,000 words a day—a nice, neat number. I also wanted to help out, in any way I could—not only because JuNoWriMo was still fairly new (compared to its cousin, NaNoWriMo), but I always felt like June was a better month for writing. November is difficult, with Thanksgiving—and I didn’t plan to participate in NaNoWriMo 2013 because of my 2nd degree black belt test.
Scrivener and Word Wars
I knew I needed a place to go where I could write distraction free, store and organize notes and research, and set up daily and project targets. For me, Scrivener fulfilled these needs. Participating in word wars often saw me past my initial daily goal and I soon realized that I could write more than 30,000 words over the course of the thirty days. So I began to plan to write 50,000 words.
I got involved in running the JuNoWriMo Twitter feed on Fridays and Sundays. Just as with teaching martial arts, running these three-hour blocks of prompts, challenges, and word wars inspired me not only to succeed, but to slam it out of the park, to set the best example I could. June 15th rolled around and not only did I find myself fortunate enough to have several new writing friends, but I discovered that I already had almost 40,000 words. Well, if I could write that much in half a month, surely I could shoot for more than 50,000.
The Results are In
By the time midnight of June 30th showed its face, I had written around 75,000 words, split among three novels. One was a re-draft of the first few chapters of a book that, while still in development, has been near and dear to my heart for almost six years. It’s a work of epic historical fiction, and may take me the better part of a decade to write. Another book I worked on was based on my ancestry research, which held a dual level of excitement. And the third? A novella in a series I’m co-authoring.
For the next month or so, I hosted interviews with JuNoWriMo participants on my blog. More friendships, more great people. I learned a lot with JuNoWriMo 2013—mostly that we can often accomplish more than we set out to do. In November 2013, I earned my 2nd degree black belt. In January 2014, I enrolled in a Masters in English and Creative Writing program. My novels are still works in progress, but now I have the confidence to say “I will write this” instead of “maybe I can put down a few words.”
It’s Your Turn
JuNoWriMo 2014 is going to be bigger and better than ever, so don’t miss this opportunity to write that book. I dare you to write 50,000 words in June. If you accept my challenge, know that you won’t be in it alone. You’ll be writing alongside hundreds of other authors who are going for the exact same thing, and that’s the best way to write. It’s gonna be stinkin’ awesome.
Oh, and one more thing. JuNoWriMo is having a giveaway right now: sign up and you just might win a prize!
So, are you in?
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