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It Lurks, It Creeps: NaNoWriMo Approaches!

October 31st is often hailed as the scariest day of the year, but that may be because you don’t know about November 1st.

To writers across the country–and beyond–November 1st ushers in one of the most grueling, challenging, and rewarding writing exercises ever invented: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Like its name implies, the event takes place for all thirty days, and the terror only grows with each passing day.

Why is that? What is NaNoWriMo?

Well, a small group of people began it in 1999: write a novel that’s 50,000 words long and submit it by 11:59 PM on November 30th. Sounds simple, right? Considering that NaNoWriMo had over 200,000 participants in 2010, many people seem to think so.

But it’s much more challenging than you think. Continue reading

Never Assume

We’ve all heard the saying, “When you assume, you make an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.”

Yes, it’s cliche. Yes, we’ve heard it so many times that it has kind of lost its luster. But don’t dismiss it that easily.

In this fast-paced world, where we are often rushing from one destination to the next, acting as constant content creation machines, and being bombarded with information, it may seem more attractive to cut corners out of convenience, expediency, and comfort. However, doing this invariably results in damaging relationships and even selling ourselves short. Totally not worth it.Continue reading

What You Really Mean When You “Don’t Mean To”

Have you ever found yourself in a heated discussion or serious gossip session with a friend (or stranger even), getting truly worked up by the subject matter and feeling the pit of annoyance in your stomach start to bubble up until you’re ready to erupt?

After a valiant effort to keep your opinion to yourself, you simply cannot hold it in any longer and the words “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” fall out of your mouth.

Let’s be honest for one hot minute. When you say “I don’t mean to be [rude, aggressive, offensive, etc.], you mean to be just that, but you don’t want to be perceived as such.Continue reading

Writing as Therapy

If we look back to writers like Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Sylvia Plath, they all left their souls on the page. They didn’t write because they needed money or because they wanted notoriety. They wrote because they had to.

When asked why they write, very few writers say anything more than “I do it because I need to tell a story.” This is especially true with nonfiction writers. Cheryl Strayed wrote Wild because it was another way for her to cope with the death of her mother. David Small wrote Stitches because he needed to understand his family and himself.

Writing isn’t just about entertaining or informing, it can also serve as therapy. Continue reading

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