National Novel Writing Month has arrived!

And I’ve started the race with a dozen teen writers itching to prove themselves. We’ve got a lot of enthusiasm, an excess of talent and tons of CANDY! Personally, I think Chris Baty’s strategy for holding the NaNoWriMo in November is dastardly clever.  Thousands of writers all over the world are participating in Nano.  Here in the United States we’ve got all that Halloween fuel available.  Kinda gives us an advantage, don’t you think?

So how’s it really going? The kids are true competitors.  By Monday, most of them had logged in over two thousand words and counting.  Great group. I love young writers because so much of the world is still fresh in their minds. They’re using their time with me to discuss whatever is on their minds.  The librarian who has been kind enough to set everything up for us has also provided a 24 hour hot line for the kids. They can check in and post questions at anytime up to the last day of November.

I’ve been hearing a lot of back and forth over whether NaNoWriMo is a worthy endeavor. Obviously, I think so.  Besides pushing writers to step out of their comfort zones and do something crazy, NaNoWriMo also brings writers together.  Let’s face it, much of the time we are all in competition for the prize, be it a contest win or publication. Sometimes, I think there is too much stress on combat strategy and not enough stress on working together.

It’s a well-known fact that luck plays a part in success, but all the luck in the world won’t carry a writer if he/she stinks.  The trick is to be prepared for the moment of success. Or as my dad likes to say, “Get all your dogs in a row.” Yeah, I know, but he thinks it’s funny.  I think lining up those “dogs” includes learning and practicing the principle of give and take.  How many times have I heard, “Those who can’t, teach.”

That’s a rotten point of view.  Most of us wouldn’t be here without our teachers. And, after taking classes with teachers like Jordan Rosenfeld and Shelley Lieber, I’m going to add that most of us STILL need teachers along the way.

I think we ought to be more grateful for our mentors. I think that those who teach know that everything given comes back two-fold.

And I think whoever came up with that selfish statement is probably sitting on a rock in the middle of a forgotten desert, wondering why nobody gives a darn that they’re missing from the rest of the human race.


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