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Countdown to NaNo: Panic!

Sometime on Sunday morning, in between trying to get my kids to do their homework, walking the dogs, and getting ready to take the kids trick or treating, I remembered that National Novel Writing Month was just two days away—and I had not done a thing to prepare! Eek!

Then, I remembered an event from 16 years ago, when I was pregnant with my son. I attended a book signing with children’s author and illustrator, Kevin Henkes. As I watched him dazzle the pre-school-aged crowd with his story, I thought: “I want to do that.” Later that night, I wondered if it was just hormones or a crazy pregnancy craving. But that experience kept repeating itself at book signings—next with Patricia Polacco and again with Madeleine L’Engle. I knew that I wanted to write books for a living. And I hoped that I would be writing for children.

I still have the same desire I had 16 years ago: to write books. So tomorrow I plan to jump into NaNo with both feet. This is the busiest fall I have had in a long time, but that’s okay. This year, I do not care if I win. I just want to spend more time doing what I know I am supposed to be doing with my life: writing books for children.

Writers, I hope you will do the same. Forget winning. Forget the pressure to write perfect prose. Instead, use the month to write more than you ever thought possible! Keep moving forward with your writing. You owe it to yourself and to your dreams!

And do not forget: I still want to send out some of these postcards! If you’ve bought my new book: Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It), email me the receipt and your address, and I will send you a postcard this November.

Happy NaNo, friends!



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