Strategies for Success:  Write Every Day

Nothing will help you more than this.  Nothing.  No matter what you do, write EVERY day.  Update EVERY day.  First of all, your badges on the main site activate when you update multiple days in a row, and one of them is for updating all thirty days.  Yes, if it’s the fourth and you haven’t already updated that ship has sailed, but there’s twenty six days left after today, so update every single one of them.

Like we talked about before, there are going to be days when you just can’t stomach the idea of writing a word.  It’s really hard to make yourself write when everything has exploded around you, or you’re just exhausted.  But make yourself do it.  Even if it’s just a hundred words.  Even if it’s just ten.  Because if you can make yourself write ten, without the pressure to do more, you might just make it to a hundred.  And once you get to a hundred, MAYBE you can get enough momentum to make it to five hundred.  Or maybe not.  But once you miss a day, it’s WAY too easy to miss more days.  It turns into a downward spiral that leads you to a hole that feels like such an impossibility to get out of.  And even though you CAN dig yourself out of a hole, and sometimes holes happen, don’t get into the hole if you don’t have to.

Saturday General Update

 

FIRST of all, as of right now, we are ahead in our war with Seattle by almost 300 words!  The official widget will be up in the forum sometime today.

If you would like to be matched with a nemesis from Seattle, fill out the form HERE

Now, that war with Seattle is VERY important, and we all need to pull together to tie up our best of three fight.  But we have something even BIGGER for just us in Motown: the inaugural TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP!  You’ve probably heard us talking about it.  That’s because it is awesome, it is going to be awesome, and we need you to make it awesome!  Check out the Team Championship page for more details, or the thread in the forum.

In a nutshell, we are dividing ourselves into three majestic teams:  The Golden Phoenix, the Emerald Dragon, and the Silver Unicorn.  Each team is headed by one ML and two minions, who will lead their teams to glory!

The main challenge is a word war for the whole month between the teams.  The winners will be able to sign their names in the Golden Notebook at the TGIO party.  But that’s not all!  We also have team buttons with your mythical beast, AND opportunities for extra swag!  Leadership will be running a variety of team based challenges at write ins throughout the month.  Fight for glory and buttons!

How do you get in on this most awesome of challenges?  The first step is signing up.  Go HERE to take our assignment quiz.  This highly scientific process will help us divide you into your destined team.  You’ll get an email with your team assignment, and also the names of your two nemeses, with whom you will do personal battle throughout the month.  This is separate from the war with Seattle.  You don’t HAVE to sign up for a Seattle nemesis, but if you get assigned a team by tonight, you will be assigned your team nemeses.  After that, it’s up to you how you do mighty battle.  Hardcore competition, super supportive, nothing at all; it’s all up to you and all in good fun.

But first you have to sign up!  You must!  It’s almost time to divide the teams, and there are WAY more people in our wonderful region than have currently taken the quiz, so I KNOW that some of you still need to take it.

GO!  TAKE THE QUIZ!

 

Fundraising update:  Cash donations are estimated at around $35 currently.

Strategies for Success: Front Loading

There are a lot of tips and tricks for winning, and one of the first ones you can take advantage of is front Loading.  (Another is paying attention to how your word counter counts dashes and adjust appropriately, but that’s another show.)

Front loading is the practice of trying to write as much as you can in the first few days or week.  It’s a good strategy, for a couple of reasons.

One, it’s easier sometimes to write when you’re int hat first blush of excitement.  The words just pour out.  Not to mention that if you’re plantsing, you might have an idea for some scenes, but that’s about all you get.  Once that list runs out, you’ll be working as you go.

You’re also going to have some days in November that no matter how much you want to, and no matter how much you try, you are still going to get hardly anything done.  Your life will explode somehow during the month.  It happens to us all.  Busy season at work.  Family stuff happens.  School.  You get sick.  Your dog gets sick.  Thanksgiving along can tank a person’s word count for days (or boost it, depending on how your schedule goes).

Working from ahead is a LOT easier than trying to catch up from behind.  Feeling like you need to write a few thousand words before you can even START for the day can be discouraging.  But keeping ahead of that goal line on your chart (you stare at your chart all the time, right?  right?) is very awesome.

So if you’ve got an extra hour today, pump out a few hundred extra words, even if you’ve already met your goal.  Then maybe a few hundred more.  You’ll thank yourself at the end of the month.

These are the first words I write this year.

Ponder that a moment.  Wooooah.

Welcome, everyone, to NaNoWriMo 2018.  We’re almost twelve hours in, and the region is already off to a great start.  The facebook group is hopping.  The forum is starting to take off.  We’ve already had people at our planning events and preseason gatherings.  And now it’s time to get down to work.

Whether this is your first year or your fifteenth, the rush of Day One is universal.  You might have planned for months (like I wanted to) or be completely pantsing it (like I am).  But the excitement and nervousness of something you’ve been waiting for for weeks or months is something we all feel.

If you’re anxious or nervous, try not to be.  There’s nothing to fear except failure, and the glory of nano is that we can boldly risk failure with no consequences.  Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.  There’s encouragement on all sides, friendly competition to keep us motivated, and if you are the sort of person who responds well to rewards, have we got the buttons for you!

It’s going to be a good year.  We have somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty new pieces of swag to give out.  Our rematch with Seattle is going to be an uphill battle all the way.  It’s going to take a lot of grit and determination, but as long as we’re all pulling together, we can make it.

Our inaugural Team Championship is ready to go!  We have the teams, the captains, the buttons, and the assignment quiz.  Have you taken the quiz?  You must!  You’ll get a team assignment and a pair of nemeses to battle against.  There will be opportunities to fight for your team at events throughout the month.  And in the end, if your team is victorious, your name will live forever in the Golden Notebook.  We also have a poster, that Laura and I* worked on very, very hard, that will only be available this year, so seize your chance to get it.

*I’m Erika, btw.  I write most of the posts for this site.

This website was born last year and has grown quite a bit.  It’s going to continue to get better as we keep working on it.  My goal is to give you a post with some encouragement, or tips for success, or updates, every few days at least.  And I am counting every one of these words.  They’re going to look a little strange next to the fantasy novel I’m writing this year (for the second time, because I like nothing better than taking another crack at a project I had hoped would turn out better) but they’re my words and I’m owning every one of them.  I just won’t be pulling as many rambley increase the word count tricks in these, because I hope that someone is actually reading them.

Good luck to you.

These were the first words I wrote this year.

We had our bake sale, and it was GREAT!

Leadership baked our collective butts off and spent all day packing stuff up and making it pretty.  Then, at the eleventh hour….it was canceled.

Ya see, what had happened was, we were booked at our contact’s church, and we were guaranteed to have the space, unless someone died, and they needed it for solemn things.  Well……

But that’s okay!  Because all the bounty got stuffed into the church’s freezer for safekeeping and emerged fresh as the proverbial daisy.

Owen, Conor and Erika set it all up this past Sunday, and it was a tremendous success!  We sold a lot of stuff, and even though there were fewer people than we thought might be there, and we had a lot left over, everyone was SO generous.

Some of the leftovers (the ones that will keep well) are being saved for nano events, so you’d better come to Midway and Kickoff if you want cake pops!  Some of it went to provide snacks for the church’s AA meeting.  And the rest went to an employee lounge at Karmanos Cancer Center to be gobbled up by hard-working nurses.

We brought in a grand total of $302!  $300 from the bake sale itself, and dollars from one of the nurses.

This money will get the region off to a GREAT start for fundraising.  We have more swag than ever before, more events than ever before, and I am more tired than ever before!

Big shout out to the non-leadership that contributed goodies:  David from Lansing, and Mary (Erika’s SIL who she bullied into joining this year.)  and also, ERIKA’S MOM!  Who made a whole ton of stuff.

We are trying a NEW fundraiser this year: a bake sale!  And you’re ALL invited to help out!  Not as customers (though you can come buy things, too,) but as bakers.  Turn on the oven, get out the butter and sugar, and help us fund the region!

How it works:  On Saturday, October 6, from 12pm-5pm, we will be collecting delicious contributions at various drop points throughout the region.  (Locations below.)  On Sunday, October 7, the East Side leadership will set up the goodies at our sales location (a church that has generously allowed us to book their space, for free, for both the sale and Boot Camp) and sell our little hearts out.  Easy peasy!

What Should I Bake?  Good ideas are:

  • Whole cakes, pies, tarts, cobblers, etc
  • Big fat cookies, brownies, lemon and pecan squares, other sorts of traybakes, etc
  • Breakfast pastries like jumbo muffins, scones, whole coffeecakes, pans of cinnamon rolls, etc.
  • Breads: whole loaves, bags of rolls, quickbreads like pumpkin, banana, etc
  • Your grandma’s super special something!

What’s not so good an idea?

  • Teeny tiny individual things (unless they’re bundled together in a package.)
  • Anything that needs refrigeration.
  • Cupcakes.  (people just never buy cupcakes.)
  • Anything store bought.

Things to Remember

  • Include a label or note with your offering of what it’s called.
  • Cut traybakes like brownies into large squares (like the size of a nano sticker!) rather than tiny squares.
  • You need to bring your offering in/on something, and you won’t get that dish back, so don’t bring your favorite baking pan.  Cake circles and disposable paper baking pans are available where baking supplies are sold, or a dollar store plastic plate can look very nice.

I want to help, but I can’t bake!

That’s okay!  Maybe someone can help you!  Do you have a mom or granny who’s the baker in the family?  A brother who went through culinary school you can trade some computer repair for help?  A friend or fellow Wrimo that brings the BEST stuff to potlucks?  Maybe you can buy the ingredients and learn a valuable skill in the process.

No, seriously, I will poison someone.  There will probably be fire.

If you really want to help out, you can bring cash money to the drop zones instead of a baked good.  We will be getting some ribbons and packaging and printing thank you notes and info cards, and a little cash will help cover those things.

Can I come to the bake sale?

Sure!  There’s an address for the church below.  The sale will be from 9am-1pm.  We just have to be sure to be courteous to the parishioners and not disrupt their space.

 

Thanks, everybody!  With any luck, we have the chance to get the region off to a great start for the year.   If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.  If you know what you’re going to make, feel free to post it below!  Others may use it for inspiration when deciding on their own offerings.

 

St Michael’s Episcopal Church

20475 Sunningdale Park, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

 

Drop Zones

Erika
Her House
22111 Edmunton
St Clair Shores, Mi 48080

Alexis
Bean and Leaf Café
Royal Oak

Conor
TBA
Mt Clemons

Michelle
Her House
TBA
Farmington

Eric
His House
TBA
Redford

Hi, everybody! Guess what time it is! It’s the beginning of the Nano planning season!

Holy cow, you say, it’s hardly August. You’re working on Nano already? Camp’s barely over. Well, that’s just how devoted leadership is to making Nano awesome for all of us. So, without further ado, here’s your 2018 Nanowrimotown Leadership, woooooo!

MLs Owen, Raine and Eric are all back, with a gazillion years of Nano between them, ready to work WAY too hard at being super awesome. (We don’t deserve you guys.)

Minions Beth, Erika, Conor, Alexis and Michelle have returned. Now introducing brand new minion, Laura! Laura is splendid and talented and we are lucky to have her.

So! What’s going on? Well, a lot of everything that is still in the very early stages, but there are a few bits and bobs to share.

Last year’s fundraising went very well, and we used the money to stock up on all kinds of supplies, like extension cords, button supplies, raffle tickets, and stickers for miles! We are discussing several different kinds of fundraising for this year, all aimed towards maximizing our ability to put on a great event while still respecting everyone’s pockets. So far, we’re looking at a change drive, several raffles, a return of the T Shirt, and…wait for it…Nanowrimotown Bake Sale! More on that to come.

We’re going to have a jam-packed schedule of events this year, including, but not limited to:
Game Night: a return of last year’s pre-nano event.
Kickoff WEEK: Starting with Game Night and ending with Kickoff, we have some extra fun in the works for your last week of sanity.
Kickoff: Lots of activities, including the third annual Kickoff Cookoff. Will you try to earn the Golden Spoon?
Midway: Everybody’s favorite all day writing potluck extravaganza.
Boot Camp: We had such a great time last year, we’re doing it again, bigger, better, and MORE WORD WARS!
One Last Push: Again, we don’t deserve Eric.
TGIO: Aaaaaand breathe.

Inter-regional Word War: We’re challenging Seattle to a rematch! We’re back, bigger, stronger, and wordier than ever before! Will they accept our challenge? Only time will tell…
InTRA-regional Word War: …wut? What’s that, you say? Welllll….you’re just going to have to wait for that, won’t you?

This year is going to be the Year of Swag! You love your swag, and we love designing it for you.** We have punchcards, we have badge ribbons, we have TWENTY NEW BUTTON DESIGNS! We are going to swag the heck outta you.

**Erika has unilaterally declared herself head of the Art Department. Nobody tried to stop her.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned to hear more as we keep working to pull it all together into another great Nano year.

We’re halfway there!  Who’s panicking?

Tomorrow’s Events:

Clinton Twp: 6:00-9:00

Are you coming to the Midway on Saturday?  Today may be the halfway point of the month, but the midway is THE MIDWAY.  Impress everyone with your tastiest potluck dish and rack up some words.  It’s also your LAST CHANCE to order a shirt this year.

There’s a new event planning thread in the forum for Nano Boot Camp.  We want to do a one day event that’s all word wars, all the time, with an intensity you’ve only ever dreamed of.  Head over there to voice your interest.

And now, beautiful people, let’s talk.  You’ve gotten a bunch of pep talks and encouraging posts and tweets so far.  Those are all very important and very true, and you should definitely take them to heart.  But here, at this halfway point, I’m going to talk about something else.  I’m going to talk about failure.

Don’t be afraid!  This is not a bad thing.  You see, at this point in the month, we’re all pretty much in one of three spots.  Either you’re on track and confidant, or you’re near the line and starting to worry, or you’re way below the line and in despair.  It’s you guys in that last group that I’m talking to, and I say unto you: do not despair.

You know how it goes.  You got busy at work or school.  You got sick.  Your computer died.  Your hamster is in the hospital.  You hate your story.  You love your story TOO MUCH.  Your muse is MIA.  Your hands fell off.  A literal bomb went off in your house and now you have to clean it all up before Thanksgiving.  You’re barricaded in your house by zombies and have to bike pedal the generator to charge your laptop.  For whatever reason, you are deeply, desperately behind, and all the encouraging pep talks in the world are not going to help you win.  It’s just not realistically possible for you to get to 50k this year.

Well, I’m here to tell you, That.  Is.  Okay.  You wanted to win, and now you will fail, and you are sad.  That is okay.  Failure is okay.

What you should NOT do is quit.  Don’t quit!  Never quit!  Keep going, keep writing.  So you won’t hit 50.  Can you hit 40?  30?  Can you strive to write at least a little bit every day, even if it’s only a few words?  Can you make it to some of the events and have a good time, even though you’re still not reaching the line?  As long as you stick it out, you win.  If you get even a sentence out of it that you like, you win.

Give yourself permission to fail.  Embrace the failure.  That way you can at least try to learn from it and relax and have a good time.  Because if you stress yourself out, you’re just going to be unhappy, and stressing out is not going to get your wordcount any higher.

I WANT you to succeed.  I WANT you to push yourself as hard as you can to get up to that line.  I want your progress bars to turn green an you to get that winner under your name.  I want that for you.  And you’d be surprised how far behind you can be and still reach down deep and pull out more words than you thought you had inside you and come up with a big win.  But if that’s not going to happen, and you know that you can’t make it happen, I want you to be okay with yourself.

Be okay.

Now, let’s get out there and make the second half of the month even better than the first.

Here we are at the Royal Oak writein, and the current total is at about 18!  Erika and Alexis are running the mainland section of the Bean and Leave, while Owen is the Governor of The Colony.  Many thousands have been written tonight!

Our region is at over 7 million words!

Some of the leadership’s choices are up in the resources section.  If you’re looking for some interesting tools or tricks, head over there and take a look!

Tomorrow’s Events:

6:00-8:00 Commerce

6:00-7:00 Detroit

Hey, where did that weekend go?

Events today:

1:30-5:00 Farmington

7:00-9:00 Allen Park

 

If you want a shirt, you have until the Midway to place your order

Regional stats: 6.7 million words is nothing to sneeze at!  We’re also up to 10 shirt orders, and about $100 in cash donations.  You guys are great.

Seattle is increasing their lead day by day.  We need everyone to dig down deep and pull that extra thousand words out kicking and screaming!  We still have a chance to do this!