Archive for category: Good causes

Shout out to all the folks participating in National Novel Writing Month this month, more affectionately known as NaNoWriMo‬.

The goal? Write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. I did NaNo back in 2004. Got the T-shirt to prove it, which I still wear proudly (it always garners many curious stares at the local Stop ‘n Shop).

I consider NaNo a major turning point in my life as a writer. When I did it, I finally gave myself permission to…

  1. Write forward. Up until that point, I was spending WAY too much time trying to perfect the first 10-20 pages instead of just getting the darn thing drafted.
  2. Write crap. A lot of crap. Knowing I could go back and fix it.
  3. Put my writing first. If you want to write 50,000 words in a month, then you need to say no to many things, like TV, navel-gazing, and generalized procrastination, all of which I excel at.
  4. Be gentle if I didn’t quite make my word count one day.
  5. Be happy when I did.
  6. Keep going, no matter what.

For all you writers out there, go get ’em. And for those living with someone doing NaNo, be supportive by offering lots of chocolate and coffee. And plenty of praise and wine on 12/1.

I wasn’t planning on doing too much blogging between now and 12/31, but author and former agent Nathan Bransford’s “annual blog fundraising goodness” for one of my favorite charities, Heifer International (you’ll see I wrote about it on my business blog last month), was just too hard to pass up.

Heifer works at ending world hunger by giving struggling communities the means to sustain themselves. Think a mess of chickens to lay eggs. Goats and cows for milk and meat. Bees for honey. You get the idea.

So, here’s what you do. Tell me your favorite holiday movie or tune in the comments below. For every legit comment I get (spammers selling credit cards, Viagra, Rolexes, etc need not apply), I’ll donate $1 to Heifer International. Like T.H. Mafi (seriously, read her blog), I’m not going to worry about limits until I get to the point where I won’t be able to afford the rent and feed the cat. So have at it.

You have until 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Thanks, and may you all have a magical holiday and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2011. 🙂