Just about 4 days and 17 hours to go till the beginning of the 2011 NaNoWriMo. I’m excited and nervous but raring to go. I like challenges that get me outside of my normal routine. And this definitely fits the bill.

On Monday’s blog, I told you about a few challenges that I was having and how I’d solved two of them. I am still working on the third challenge, but am happy to say that as of last night, I’m now up to 48 outlined chapters. I’ve worked hard this week to get this far. I’ve even had to stop myself from writing any actually chapters. It’s been hard, but I’m keeping my eye on the prize.

Speaking of prizes, I have decided that if I actually achieve my goals–write the entire month of November and complete the first draft with the at least the requisite 50k words–I am going to treat myself to my favorite chocolatier, Maison Robert Fine Chocolates. Just a side note, if you live in Atlanta, love fine chocolate and want to treat yourself, there’s none better.

Ok, back on topic now. As I’ve already stated NaNoWriMo is a world-wide phenomenon. It was started back in 1999 by a freelance writer named Chris Baty and about 20 others. Now, however, it’s run by the Office of Letters and Lights, a 501 (c) 3 organization that promotes different challenges throughout the year to inspire adults and children in their pursuit of writing. These people, like me, believe in the importance of words and the magic of writing.

The NaNoWriMo challenge has grown by leaps and bounds over the past ten previous years. The first year that OLL took over, they had about 140 participants; which was in 2000. As of last year, there were 200,500 eager Wrimos with about 30,000 completing the challenge. It’s safe to say that this year will top 300,000 as many of the writers are returning winners from last year. They are individuals who actually saw the advantage (and fun) of this endeavor.

The challenge isn’t limited to the Internet, though. There are regional groups all over the world that one can tap into. I’ve found one right here in good ole’ GA. There will be a kick off at the Varsity downtown this weekend and various write-ins; one of which will be held at the Atlanta Bread Company at the Forum right here in Norcross (yay, ten minute drive, no traffic). I’ll have the opportunity to get mentored, meet other local writers and finally start to see some growth in my work.

To add to all of this excitement, I’ll also be giving a live (yes, I said live) Internet Radio interview on Monday, October 31 at Noon EST. I’m really excited and a bit nervous to do this. But hey, I gotta get used to it if I’m going to be a New York Times Best Selling Author some day (hey, no sense dreaming small). To find out more about the interview, please visit my friend and fellow author Quinn Barrett at  And while you’re at it, you might want to check out her seriously awesome new book, Invisible Snow.  I read it in only about 17 hours, and it took that long because I had to get some sleep.

Well, time to get back to the outline. This book isn’t going to write itself. I’ll check in again on Monday after my interview. After that, you’ll only “hear” from me once a week as I keep you updated on my adventure with the NaNoWriMo challenge. Until then, keep writing, keep reading, keep dreaming.

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