An invitation to join me in a great month of novel-writing
Several years ago I was working on a novel about this same time of year. I’d begun it quite a few months earlier at my home in Boston, but at the time I was happily — if not somewhat chilled — writing from a 150-year-old farmhouse in rural France. My fingers, clad in fingerless knitted gloves, flew over the keyboard, pausing occasionally to sip from my café au lait or tea for warmth.
I was having a best-of-times.
An email came through cyberspace from a best friend and writing colleague who lives in Oregon. I stopped writing to see what he had to say; several years earlier, again while lodging at this same Finistere stone maison, he had done me a great service by buying and shipping me a Logitech K811 Bluetooth keyboard, which I’d forgotten to pack. Knowing I was here working on a new novel, he was writing to say he’d launched a NaNoWriMo on Facebook and invite me to join the group.
Ever game for new adventures, I jumped on. Suddenly, I was no longer writing alone. I had found a wonderful experience, writing with other people who were NaNoWriMo members, all of us writing the first draft of our novels, in the one-month timespace of November.
Now WE were having a best-of-times.
Some things change: I wouldn’t set a fingertip in Facebook again, but what’s unchanging is the friendships with — shall I call them pen pals? — writers with whom I still communicate. Some have become JackBoston club members, and love to give me pokes in my blog posts’ Comments.
So, in just over a week — November 1st — the 2021 NaNoWriMo begins, and unlike last time, when I had what amounts to a head start, I’m beginning my new novel. It’s been gestating in my Grape-Nuts brain for most of this year and I have taken copious Notes on my iPhone app. I’m ready to rock.
And you’re invited to join me and the band of writing brothers and sisters on National Novel-Writing Month: NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is free. You can get as much into (or out of) it as you want. Have you an idea you would like to work on in a semi-structured, supported, deadline-oriented environment? You get to make your own rules. But in case you’d like some help, there are NaNoWriMo coaches and some other resources available. Even at this late date, it wouldn’t hurt to check out NaNo Prep.
To which I would like to offer you the benefit of my own writing methodology, developed over my many years of writing a dozen nonfiction books and five novels. I call it the Joshua Tree Methodology, and it’s a formal document taking you step-by-step through the novel development process. There’s no charge, and I’ll try to answer your questions along the way. All I ask is that you become a JackBoston member/subscriber. Hop over to my website and click on “Contact Jack” on the right-hand side. (Read a few of my blogs if you wish to get a sense of what I’ll be sending you once a week.) I’ll get the Joshua Tree Methodology documents in the email to you right away.
Let’s do this. Together.
Oh, and that novel I wrote with a little help from my NaNoWriMo friends last time? It’s Anarchy, the third volume in the Nathaniel Hawthorne Flowers series.