Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Write What You NaNo guest blogger: Adrianne Russell

I am pleased to present author, blogger, music playlist superstar, and friend, Adrianne Russell to the blog! With a great ear for YA voice and a passion for writing, Adrianne is approaching NaNo this year with a lofty goal. Read on!

The Audacity of NaNoWriMo

November 2011 marks my fourth foray into the wild and wacky world of National Novel Writing Month, so Tricia's request to write a guest post about that very subject is perfectly timed. In just a matter of days, I willingly jump into a gaping abyss of word counts, write-ins and pep talks as I push toward my goal of 100,000 words.  What's that you say? Winning NaNoWriMo only requires 50,000 words? That's true. But this year I have a different plan.

First, some backstory:  Sick of abandoning New Year's Resolutions by the second week of January, I decided to make commitments instead, goals that could range from down-to-earth to pie-in-the-sky as long as I took measurable steps to achieve them. In 2010, I knocked 16 of 20 commitments off the list, including finding the perfect shade of lipstick, publishing my first freelance article and buying a smoking-hot party dress. 

Consistently achieving goals reframes everything. You develop a kick-ass "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" mentality (sincere apologies to Puff Daddy & Mase) except you don't need shiny suits, explosions and fish-eye lenses to tell the world how much you rock; it just shows. 

I carried that feeling into 2011, dubbing it the Year of Calculated Risks. No more living in fear, hiding behind everything I thought was safe and secure. Every personal and professional choice serves to reclaim a sense of hope I haven't experienced since I was a kid, that unshakeable belief that I can do anything and try anything and if I fail, there's no harm in trying again.  

When I activated my supreme procrastination planner skills a few weeks ago, I wondered how I could embiggen this year's NaNoWriMo. Finish in three weeks instead of four? Type one-handed? Write entirely in iambic pentameter? Suddenly it hit me: 100,000 words flashed in my brain like it was framed in neon. I was terrified, then excited, then nauseous, then resolute: I can do this.

Just like that, my childhood fearlessness returned with a vengeance. There is no equivocating on this: prolific or not, celebrated or not, published or not, I’m a writer. It’s all I’ve ever been and all I’ve ever wanted to do. If I don’t raise the bar, I’ll never improve. If I don’t push myself, I’ll never know what I’m capable of.

So yeah, NaNoWriMo, I see your challenge and raise you 50%. Double or nothing.

Adrianne Russell lives and writes in the Midwestern United States.  She had to look up iambic pentameter to write this post.  You can visit her at The Writers Republic ( or follow her @writersrepublic ( on Twitter.


  1. 100,000 in a month is an awesome goal and a great way to up the NaNoWriMo challenge. I had a similar idea, except my goal is to write two novels (no matter where the word count falls at the end).

  2. one year i'd like to try the 100K goal during NaNo. Alas, this year is not that year...

  3. You can do this. Once you get really into NaNo, it's amazing how much your typing speeds up, and how obsessive you can become about a story. Every 15-minute-pause is writing time. Every walk from A to B is scene-imagining. Every word war is a wild sprint.

    I did 200k twice (last year and the one before). It's an incredible, crazy rush. Sometimes all you want to do is bang your hand or massage your wrists (do the latter) but when you cross that line? Oh boy.

    So go kick NaNo's ass! And if in you're in need of company, try and look up the Overachievers' thread in the forums. They're fun to hang with. :)

  4. Claudie--you did 200K TWICE? Girl, you're kinda my new hero... I'm still in awe of Cherie doing two books. Suddenly, my paltry 50K words doesn't feel so impressive anymore. :)

  5. Aw I love Adrianne! And this series has an HILARIOUS title and so apt! My writing career is pretty much based on it :P

  6. Holy cats. 200,000 words? Two novels in a month? Mayhaps my aim is too low. :)

  7. I love your attitude! Virtual cheers and chocolate! Dream big, achieve big. Yay 100k.


I love getting comments. They're as much fun as getting real snail mail. So please, chime in and tell me what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...