I am happy to host my writing colleague and friend, JM Reinbold, who every November offers an alternative to the 50K word challenge of NaNoWriMo: MiniWriMo.
MiniWriMo is an on-line writing challenge—participate through the Facebook group—sponsored by the Written Remains Writers Guild. Today, Joanne answers 5 questions about MiniWriMo for writers who want to set a steady but less stringent goal for turkey month.
First, an introduction:
JM Reinbold is the author of the DCI Rylan Crowe English Village mystery series. She is also a poet, editor, and the Director of the Written Remains Writers Guild. She lives in Wilmington, Delaware. Her fiction, essays, articles, and poetry have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, and on blogs and websites, as well as being nominated and selected for awards, grants, and literary fellowships.
Now, the questions:
Q: What is MiniWriMo?
A: MiniWriMo (Mini Writing Month) is an alternative to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
Q: What are the daily expectations?
A: MiniWriMo is a 250 words a day for 30 days challenge.
Q: Why did you start MiniWriMo?
A: I started MiniWriMo for a number of reasons. One is, a few years ago, I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote a novel in 30 days. It was exciting, but mostly it was grueling. Another reason is, I wanted to develop a “write every day habit.” Most days, I can’t write 1,666 words a day, but I can write 250 words a day and often I write quite a few more and better words because I feel less stress when I sit down at my writing desk. Finally, MiniWriMo is a challenge anyone can participate in and achieve without rearranging their life or increasing their stress.
Q: How would a new participant prep for November and MiniWriMo?
A: Prepping for MiniWriMo is similar to prepping for NaNoWriMo or any other long-term writing challenge. A participant chooses their project: writing a short story, writing chapters of a novel, essays, blog posts, or other writing. They could also choose to edit / revise an already completed project. They sketch out a plan, in whatever form works best for them—an outline, story notes—or they can “pants” it, if they prefer. They make sure they have everything they need to do the work: a writing space or place to go to write, the necessary equipment and resources. They also try to anticipate activities or events during November that might cause them to miss their writing time, such as holidays, business travel, etc. and find work-arounds.
This year, we’re trying something new. Along with the writing challenge, we’re creating do-it-yourself mini writing retreats. Writers will design mini-retreats, most likely one for each week of the challenge. During these mini retreats, a participant might write, but s/he might also choose to do something other than writing that enriches his/her writing life – perhaps studying a particular aspect of writing craft or another subject for which s/he hasn’t been able to find the time, or visit with a writer friend to catch up, or think deeply about a story project, or take a walk or go dancing, or read a favorite author.
Q: What happens of December 1st, when MiniWriMo is over?
A: We celebrate our success! And for some of us, we keep on going, writing something every day, moving ahead to our next goal as authors.
For those who wish to continue with daily writing / editing, we have a Facebook group for that, too—250 Words Plus for Writers.
For more about JM Reinbold, visit her website and check out “Missing,” the first in her English Village mystery series.
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