Here it is, November, one of the busiest months of the year. Thanksgiving is around the corner, stores are hammering us with Christmas items we can’t live without, we’re making travel and holiday plans and if you’re a writer, there’s the dilemma of what to do about the ever-popular NaNoWriMo, or Nano.
(To learn about Nano, go to http://nanowrimo.com).
This, in a nutshell, is where you put your life on hold and write. Your goal is 50k words by the end of the month. My determination and desire to participate in this crazy, yearly ritual always leaves my husband very confused. I always get that puzzled “why?” Along with the look that says I must be nuts. And maybe I am but so are a whole lot of other writers! (Why did they choose November out of all the months during the year?)
So this year, with life coming at me every which way, I am once again participating in this madness. My competitive spirit compels me to make the commitment to write a rough draft of a book during November even though I have yet to finish an entire book during this month.
But this year is different. My goal isn’t to write one 50,000-word novel. It’s to write two novellas, one complete, and one rough draft. Am I nuts? Certifiable? Perhaps. But I also know from doing work for hire this last year (ghostwriting erotica novellas) how long it takes me to write a Novella of 31K words—how many days and hours—so I know that completing two is a mighty push but not impossible as I typically need 15-19 days to complete a novella. Okay, I will admit that goal is a bit ambitious but I think it’s good to push ourselves a bit. So I have this goal, now what? Luckily, I also have a secret weapon. It’s called Power Writing.
What is Power Writing?
Power Writing is like Nano all year round. Best part is, you don’t have to withdraw from life, lock yourself in your office, and tell the world (and your family) to go away for an entire month. Power Writing involves asking the world (your family, your pets, your social media distractions, etc.) to leave you in peace for one hour. That’s it. One measly hour that you make sacred and write. Of course, you have to make it sacred as well and honor the intent to write for one little hour. The rules are simple:
Write for one hour.
Seems easy, right? Well, not always so easy in this age of distractions, over commitments, stress etc. Here’s the deal. Warn your family that you are taking an hour—JUST ONE HOUR—to write.
- No interruptions (unless someone’s life is in dire danger)
- No stopping to research
- No going on the internet to check facts
- No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, e-mail or any other social media
- No games on the computer, iPad, phone, tablet etc. to help you “get your thoughts in order”
- No phone calls
- No searching through your computer files for that one fact that you may or may not need.
- No running off to clean house or scrub your toilet
- No distractions period
For one hour, you write.
THIS IS SO SIMPLE.
I first tried this at the start of a new book. I didn’t have a complete plot, an outline or even a name for my hero. I only knew who the heroine was and her past as a child. But there I was, day one of Power Writing with an awesome group of authors. I stared at that empty page on the monitor and was very tempted to just plot and look up names for my hero. But because I had committed to write, I told everyone I was starting at page one, word count ZERO.
I figured I could only go up from there so I pulled a name out of the air for the hero and began. I was absolutely shocked at the end of the hour when we all called in (conferencing calls is wonderful). Not only did I have the first scene of this new book, I had the hero’s previously unknown conflict. I wrote White Christmas (Under my name) in less than 3 months using this method. I know, not the book in a month of Nano but much better than taking six months or a year to write a book.
Both Nano and Power Writing have these things in common:
- To focus your writing
- To produce words
- To see results.
I proved to myself that with just three Power Hours a day, I could write faster and be more productive without closing myself off from life and get more accomplished than an entire day spent piddling around with writing. Of course, I write more than 3 hours but those other hours are for the research, plotting, editing, and revising and for marketing, promotions, social media and all the other hats writers are required to wear.
So what I really love about Power Writing is how it forces me to sit and write without all the ploys to not write, all the excuses why I can’t write or the hundreds of distractions that use to keep me from writing. Something I discovered was that for me, the intense focus shoots my brain into high gear. I know I need to produce and I think subconsciously, your mind is already working out where you need to go so when you sit to write, your mind produces.
Now that Nano is once again upon me, do I need this month of intense writing? Not really. I’m making the same good progress that I do in November with each Power Hour. Am I going to participate? You bet. I still have that competitive spirit. But I’ll confess, I have my first grandbaby on the way, a little girl and I love sewing cute little dresses with lace and ruffles! Hmm, what’s that rule about no distractions?
So how about you? Are you taking part in this yearly ritual? If yes, how are you doing so far? Do you go all in or do you modify Nano to fit your own needs? Or do you simply ignore the whole Nano thing?
Check out the contest link at the end of this post. Enter to win a tote bag full of goodies.
Writing as Sydney St. Claire, Susan has a new erotica series out now. Cinderella & Prince Dom released in September. Snow & Her Huntsman will be out Jan 2015
Blurb for Red & Her Big Bad Dom (Once Upon a Dom, book 2)
Wealthy computer genius Graham Winters is in love with a woman who won’t join him for a stingy cup of coffee. How can he prove he’s nothing like her jerk of an ex if she won’t give him a chance? Then he spots her at a BDSM club and devises a plan. During the day, he’s “that damn geek.” At night, he’s the masked Dom known as The Wolf.
When it comes to her love life, Lucy Sanchez has one rule—no geeks. Not even rich, good-looking geeks. She’s attracted to Graham but rules are rules. Besides, she has her wolf, the mysterious Dom who makes her blood sing. Then she’s invited to a fairytale event at Pleasure Manor and this Little Red Riding Hood plans to enjoy every delicious moment with her big, bad Dom.
#1 Excerpt PG 13 (Choice of 2)
Lucy admitted there was something totally naughty and sensual in not knowing what her big, bad, wolf looked like. He was her mystery man, and he understood her. He got her, and not just with the sex, although the sex was out of this world fantastic.
They had so many things in common, like dancing. Bryce’s mansion had a real ballroom, and she had a fabulous gown for the ball. She and her wolf would heat up the dance floor.
“What are you thinking?”
Smiling, Lucy stared into his piercing blue eyes. “Saturday night.”
“Ah. We’ll dance the night away, you and I.”
His slight accented voice hummed through her. “I love dancing with you.”
He pulled her on top of him. “I bet we can sneak into the ballroom tomorrow. Want to dance tonight, out here, under the moonlight?”
Lucy cupped his face in her hands and kissed him. “Very much so.”
“Then we’ll dance here after our scene.”
She wrinkled her nose. “I’m not so sure I’m going to like being watched”
“You trust me.” It wasn’t a question but a quiet statement.
Lucy nodded. He knew her better than she knew herself. “It seems—wrong—yet the idea of being spied on turns me on.”
He grinned. “No, it’s naughty, and you, my sweet sub, love being naughty.”
Rolling her eyes, she admitted he was right. “Yeah, I do. Okay, I’m game.”
“Good girl.” He rolled her over, held her hands above her head, and swooped in for a deep, drugging kiss.
#2 Excerpt pg 13
“I’m taking you to dinner tonight. In the city.” He sat on her desk, which she now found endearing rather than annoying.
She set her purse into an empty cabinet and lifted a brow. “You’re telling me?”
He shrugged. “If I ask, you’ll say no.”
“I have plans.” With The Wolf.
He tipped her chin up. “Cancel them.” His lips brushed hers, and then he deepened the kiss.
Lucy’s insides clenched at the feel of his warm mouth against hers and the taste of coffee with a hint of caramel, his favorite kind. She closed her eyes, her lips moving with his. His tongue dipped into her mouth, and she moaned, leaning into him.
Then he broke the kiss and walked away.
Lucy gaped at him. Her insides melted, and that familiar longing zeroed in on her center and pooled between her legs. Damn. She was attracted to her geek. Very attracted. Too bad he wasn’t her wolf. Now, if Graham were as good as her wolf in bed, she’d have found the perfect man.
She sighed. Yep, too bad. So what now? Two dates, two men equaled complications.
Her lips turned downward tightly as she got to work. She loved her wolf-lover, but their relationship was not completely satisfying or fulfilling. Not rounded and balanced. Graham, on the other hand, was open. She knew who he was, shared many common interests, and most of all, Graham didn’t have any secrets. What she saw was what she got with him. In a way, she preferred that to the mysterious and secretive.
“All right,” she said.
Graham glanced up, his eyes unfocused. “Huh?”
Realizing three hours had passed, and he was totally immersed in Geekland, Lucy wadded up a sheet of paper and tossed it at him. “Come back to earth, Graham. Dinner. Date. You. Me.”
His eyes cleared, and a huge grin lit his entire face. His blue eyes shone with pleasure. “Great.”
His smile slipped into a frown when she stretched her arms and back. “You tired? Need to stop?”
“Yeah, need to cancel my plans for tonight and stretch my legs. Want to walk outside with me?” His grounds were beautiful. Calm and restful with formal groupings, waterfalls, and a small forest that reminded her of the woods surrounding Bryce’s mansion, the woods where she and her wolf had played and strolled. She shook off the memories.
“Give me ten. You can go explore the house if you want. I forgot to give you the tour.” He grinned. “My bedroom is up the stairs, straight ahead.”
Lucy had been dying to see the rest of the house, and yes, that included the man’s bedroom, but she rolled her eyes for good form. Didn’t want him to know how eager she’d been to see the upstairs. “Okay. Twisted my arm.”
Wild Rose press: http://bit.ly/1xB319E
Sydney St. Claire is the pseudonym of Susan Edwards, author of 14 Historical Native American/Western/Paranormal romances and the author of the popular “White” Series.
Sydney loves writing and sharing stories of love, happiness and dreams come true with her readers. She credits her mother for her writing success. Encouraged to read as a child, she always preferred happy endings which meant romances were her favorite genre. Sydney takes her readers into the world of erotica romance where her characters come together in explosive passion as they solve life’s problems and find true love along with the best sex our hero and heroine have ever experienced.
Sydney’s office is quite crowded with three dogs at her feet and five cats to keep her company while she writes. Three cats always insist on beds on her desk, barely leaving enough room for her monitor and keyboard. Life gets fun when all five insist on supervising…
When not writing, she enjoys crafts of all sorts including quilting, sewing, cross-stitch, and knitting. She and her husband of 30 + years are avid gardeners. He takes care of the veggies, and Susan is in charge of the ‘pretties’. Her medicine wheel garden is in a contact state of war: flowers vs. weeds. Sadly, right now the weeds are wining…
While writing, she listens to a wide variety of music. Her current favorites are Blackmore’s Night and David Lanz.
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