Monday, November 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo Guest Post (Ilima Todd) and Check-In!!

Not only do you need to check in for NaNo today, but you also need to read this really fun and inspiring guest post by Ilima Todd! Don't forget to follow her blog and tweets too!

To check in, give us the usual: name, title, word count.... and let us know what you have planned for this last leg of NaNo. Or let us know if you won, so we can celebrate with you! 

Now let's turn it over to Ilima...

Why I Love NaNoWriMo

Writing can be a lonely endeavor, which is why I love it when November rolls around. There’s just something magical about thousands of writers coming together in crazy drafting bliss. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions, but when I’m on that track next to those who get it, the dips don’t seem so scary.

My main advice is to forget all the advice and do what works for you. If that means writing forward and not looking back, do it. If that means bouncing around from scene to scene or editing what you wrote the day before, do it. Ignore the “experts” and just write—it’s as simple as that.

Each night in November my CP’s and I email each other our word count for the day and a short snippet of our writing. With only positive cheerleading allowed, we pull each other through those crappy days and encourage to the finish line. Here’s a sampling of what can be found in those daily emails:

So I started out with a dream that is also a flashback within a prologue. Um…

I’m already veering from the plan. *clings possessively to 30 page outline*

For someone who doesn’t really grasp the rules of using the em dash, I sure use it a lot.

I’m just going to ignore the CP who already hit 50K. She does not exist. Poof. Go away.

Blogs. Twitter. Facebook. Other Shiny Things. How do I turn off the internet, again?

I am drowning in dirty dishes. This is why paper plates were invented, people.

My writing SUCKS. Why the crap did I ever get into this business in the first place?

Blinking cursor. Blinking cursor.

Stayed up til the wee hours to write new scene, then woke up three more times during the night because the muse wouldn’t shut up.

I wrote, like, 200 words today. Aack! Muse…where did you go?

My bar graph is still above that diagonal line…that’s all that matters.

The honeymoon is over! I hate Nano. This is stupid. :P

I made a playlist for my book. Then googled actors to play my characters. Then designed a book cover.

Got 5K in today. 5K!!!! I’m amazing. I rock. I can’t believe those around me aren’t constantly blown away by my awesomeness.

Why, hello shower. Nice to meet you.

I wrote THE BEST kissing scene today, then jumped ahead and wrote the next one, just for good measure.

Time to stalk my Nano buddy list and evil laugh at everyone I’m beating. Just kidding. Kind of.

Is there a genre called YA erotica? Because I think I just invented it.

I’m setting fire to my 30 page outline.

Dear Stomach Flu, it’s NOVEMBER. You are not allowed to visit. Be gone with thee!

Wait, MC. Where are you going? Come back. COME BACK.

I’m just going to ignore that other CP who is going out on submission before me. *deep breaths*

I cried four times today—whimpering out loud and everything. I don’t know if I can do this.

We ran out of Diet Coke. And milk. But…DIET COKE!

Nope. I did NOT go back and make all the changes needed to accommodate new idea, erasing several hundred words that no longer work. I would NEVER.

Used the F-bomb in my novel. Twice. Then the word “balls” in reference to male genitalia. I am going to hell.

I’m sure a lot of this sounds familiar. And crazy. But we writers are artists, and the best artists are a little off their rocker, don’t you think? So cheers to all you Nano-ers out there…you are crazy, and you can do it. I believe in you!

-Ilima Todd


Haha! We writers are crazy! Doesn't it feel good to know your not alone though? :)

Good luck with the rest of NaNoWriMo everyone! Don't forget to check in below!   

And don't forget submissions for Pitch Wars opened today. Check that here

Thanks everyone!


  1. Okay, so I didn't type a single word since the last check in! I know! I know! *cries*

    My computer and I barely even glanced at each other last week. BUT you should've seen how clean my house was, then how many people were in my house, then how crazy messy it was again. lol

    This month has been evil! Pure evil! I am so doing NaNo a different month. Like a month coming soon! I can do that, right? :)

    Now amaze me.....

  2. I'm printing this out, Ilima. Hilarious and oh-so-true!

  3. I've been lucky enough to be getting Ilima's daily emails. She is the best, guys. Be jealous, no seriously, you should be.

    Okay my update.
    Gutter Girl
    YA Contemp
    WC-51544 I am dancing in the winners' circle and wondering where my muse went. Um that plan to finish MS this month? Come on..I have 5 days...and I cannot do it on my own. And right now pantser me really wishes she were a plotter.
    Shutting down Internet, back to Word.

  4. Heya, here's my NaNo checkin :) Vanna Banana is my screen name, the working title is Behind the Stars, my current word count is 45.5k, and I plan to finish today because I have way too much to do the rest of this week. :) Well, ok, so the story won't be finished, BUT, I will have gotten the character to the lowest of the lows and on her way to the end!

  5. Haha, I've often wondered what it would look like if I printed out my conversations with my CP. And now I know. That's awesome.

    Congrats on being a winner!

  6. OMG, I loved this. Those emails sound familiar. LOL. Great job to everyone doing NaNo!

  7. HI. Ilima's my CP. I happen to be that CP who hit 50K on *mumbledaysixmumble* so I don't really have a check-in. I just wanted to say that this post was my idea, so I'm totally taking credit for her brilliance. Because without me, you wouldn't be smiling and grinning and laughing at her wonderful, hilarious words.

    Anyway, you're all fantastic and I am cheering you on!!!

    <3 Taryn

  8. Congrats to all those who've finished! And those quotes are great Ilima. What a terrific way to keep each other going.

    As for me...

    Never Again
    Contemporary YA
    46,000 words

    Feeling good. Might finish a few days early. We'll see. And that'll be my finished first rough draft. Because most of them are rough! :)

  9. I did 'win' NaNo. 64k+ on Phreak Show at this point. No set goals for the rest of the month. I know where the next few chapters need to go, but I am sitting back and letting the characters act them out in my head before drafting.

    It's been a crazy ride. Now it's time to chill--and let the the ideas percolate--before diving back in.

  10. I'm on 48 800 now with Between Paradise and Nowhere, so plan to finish the 50K today. Then I probably have another 20K to go before I reach the end of the book. Not going to happen by November 30th, but hopefully before the kids finish school for their Christmas break....

    Love the quotes from Ilima. Sounds like my emails with my CPs....

  11. Thanks for letting me invade the blog today, Cupid! Here's me:


    Winner! And also, the book is complete. Yay! I'm already working on revisions because I love this story so much. So I'll still be deep in my Nano with the rest of the world this week. Go us!

  12. My house is showing the aftermath of NaNoWrMo. I haven't seen the kitchen counters in weeks!

    My name is Brooke, but my screen name is jovianb.
    My book is The Captain and the Assassin.

  13. Since I finished NaNo today (and my book, thank you very much), this post came with the perfect timing! Reading about all your ups and downs, I totally get everything and have so been there, done that! And I heart you oodles of noodles, my dear CP. You get a shiny prize (still to be determined) for being the best cheerleader ever!

  14. I'm slowly working my way through all the challenges this month, and I may be a little behind, but I'm getting there:

    YA Contemporary
    12 Steps

    Word count: ?? I've typed up 34,620 words, but I have several handwritten pages to type, & I'm averaging over 500 words per handwritten page, so... ??

  15. Haha, that was fantastic! It's hilarious to see what we put ourselves through sometimes, and how we find the guts to keep going. ;)

  16. Hilarious!! well done

    new follower...hi!

  17. CONGRATS to all the amazing winners already!

    Sounds like a few of you are really close! Go, go, GO! You can do it!