With National Novel Writing Month coming up in November, I’ll be giving a presentation on how to write a novel in 30 days tomorrow (Wednesday, October 21).

I’m not sure how I forgot to mention this because I am so excited to share what I’ve learned over… EIGHTEEN years. I had to go back through my notes and found my first Nanowrimo attempt back in 2002, and it was a win in that it got me started writing my first novel. I tried again in 2003 and 2004, but I couldn’t finish those novels (perhaps I was too ambitious trying to write a Tale of Genji set on a Wyoming ranch).

Then I got my first win with a contemporary fantasy in 2005, and followed that with a science fiction version of The Odyssey in 2006. From those experiences, I learned the power of structure (i.e. using a classic for the story basis) and the power of car chases and blowing things up for adding to word counts.

Having struggled with completing a novel (let alone writing one in 30 days) for so long, I wanted to share what I’ve learned to help fellow writers. If I can help them get right to writing (and finishing!) a novel, then what I went through was totally worth it.

So am I a fan of Nanowrimo? Absolutely! I know there are some writers who think Nanowrimo is terrible for essentially encouraging people to write crap (write fast! write furious! it’s just about the number of words!). But for me, Nanowrimo gave me permission and encouragement to pursue my dream of writing, and I believe that anything that inspires you to be creative, to overcome your insecurities to try something new and challenging, is a Good Thing.

I will be blogging my Nanowrimo journey this year. You can follow me here and on Nanowrimo’s site (@andipedia). To 50,000 and beyond!