We’re gearing up for a fun month of novel-writing mayhem, so to kick things off, we’re doing a little “getting to know you” segment so you can learn a little more about your municipal liaison team here in ChiWriMo.
First up: Stacy
NaNoWriMo Username: smwalter
Facebook Group name: Stace Stus
Years doing NaNoWriMo: Since 2007, with a couple years off here and there for law school and life
Years being an ML: Something like since 2011 or 2012? I’ve lost track!
Favorite part of NaNoWriMo: All of my friends and family know that I do it now, so in November, I get a free pass for skipping a lot of stuff. Being an introvert, this is a huge benefit for me! Also, even when other stuff in my life has gone awry, November is always there – even if I’ve barely written all year, I know that in November, I have NaNoWriMo, so it really helps me validate my creative aspirations.
Most challenging part of NaNoWriMo: I start to get a really bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) around the middle of the month, and it makes it hard to concentrate, because I’d rather be spending time with friends. Usually, if I take a little break and allow myself a social event or two, I start to feel better and can dive back in with renewed vigor.
Secrets to success: 1) I limit my preparation and outlining to the last 7 days of October leading up to November, to avoid getting into my head too much. 2) I do everything I can to conquer week 2 – whether it’s piling up words in week 1 so I’m ahead when week 2 hits, or forcing myself to write a few sentences even if I really really really don’t wanna, that’s the hardest week for me to get through. If I can write every day of week 2, even a small amount, then I know I can win the month.
Most memorable NaNoWriMo moment(s): I still remember my first year doing NaNoWriMo, I joined the regional word war between Chicago, New York, and Toronto. We came in second place, and I had a blast, racking up something like 150,000 words that year. That’s the most I’ve ever written for NaNoWriMo, ever. Now, I usually squeak by the 50k mark. I think it was just the brand new experience of doing NaNoWriMo for the first time, and having that little competitive thing going for me, really worked well to keep me going. I also remember the first novel I finished, which was something like November 13th of my first year – On Her Own Two Wheels. I was sitting in a Starbucks when I hit my 50,000 words, it was great!
Other miscellaneous fun: I live on a 39 acre farmette with 25 chickens and 3 dogs. My chickens are almost all named after Lord of the Rings characters.
Favorite writing quote: Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.
Happy novel-writing, friends!