Michelle Rowen

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Nanowrimo 2010

Right now I’m what I’d consider a casual participant in Nanowrimo 2010. Due to a few things that have come up in the last couple of weeks, I’m only getting started on my new book, THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, today. I think I’ll get a lot of words done in the next few weeks, but not sure if it’ll amount to 50K. And that’s okay.

I’m a big believer in Nanowrimo. It was Nanowrimo 2003 that helped me finish my very first book from beginning to end. The first time, after many false starts and books that petered out after thirty pages, that I ever officially typed the magic words “THE END.” It proved to me I could do this. And since then I’ve written 20 books (give or take…a few of which are, and always will be, unpublished).

I was asked to do a motivational email for a local Nano group and thought I’d share what I wrote here as well.


Greetings Nanowrimos!

Whether you’ve written twenty books or this is your very first one, I’m going to let you in on a secret that you might already know a little something about.

Writing is Hard Work!

Sure it is. But it is also:

Awesome. Frustrating. Exhilarating. Fulfilling. Painful. Silly. Ego-deflating. Inspiring. Tough. Fun. Heartbreaking. Wonderful.

What other hobby or profession can you get this sort of an experience from? Like, seriously?

Okay, you could be a professional roller coaster rider, but that’s not terribly practical.

I’m not going to tell you that it’s going to be a totally smooth ride this month, but it will be a ride you won’t soon forget. There will be ups and downs and some of those unexpected turns or drops might make you scream your head off (let’s continue with the roller coaster metaphor, shall we?), but at the end, when you’re feeling windblown and perhaps a little nauseous, you will know you’ve accomplished something that not too many other people have accomplished.

You’ve written a novel.

Fifty thousand words that poured out of your imagination. You created characters, worlds, plots, subplots, dialogue, description. Out of nowhere. Poof.

So cool.

You might be a bit battle weary today, tomorrow, or very soon. There might be those little doubt weasels in the back of your mind that whisper lies to you from their little weasel lips — telling you that you can’t do this, that you’re not good enough, that there are better things to do with your precious time than sit at the keyboard and Make Stuff Up.

Don’t listen to them. They’re just jealous. Here’s a tip I’ve discovered to help ignore those weasels — the faster you type the less influence they will have on you. They will be crushed by the sheer weight of your wonderful, magical words.

So to recap:

1)    Writing is both hard work and awesome!

2)    Writing is magic!

3)    Ignore the doubt weasels that tell you to stop because they are WRONG and STUPID and you are CREATIVE and AMAZING!

4)    And, most importantly, have fun!!!

Happy writing!!

Michelle Rowen


And I mean it. Writing is magic.

Speaking of magic, THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC is calling my name. It’s saying “Michelle, why are you ignoring me? You remember that your deadline for me is February 1st, right?”

“Yes, I remember. Sheesh.”

For what it’s worth, I’m really looking forward to diving back into Darrak and Eden’s world. I have A LOT of ground to cover in this third book, the one that will answer all of those pesky little questions readers might have after finishing SOMETHING WICKED. Oh yes.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have some writing to do……

5 comments to “Nanowrimo 2010”

  1. Jane
     · November 10th, 2010 at 2:54 am · Link

    I’m your fan in Thailand. Love your books. Can’t wait to read That Old Black Magic!

  2. Tori
     · November 10th, 2010 at 4:02 am · Link

    Michelle- Do you procrastinate a lot before starting a new book? The only ones I’ve ever written THE END on happened because of Nano. I guess I need the insane pressure needed to get me to the end. :p

    I truely believe everything you had to say about writing. It is hard work, it is heartbreaking at times too. Thank you Michelle! You have inspired me to finish two books in the last six months because of your blog and your books. Now I just have to stop procrastinating and revise them, LOL.

    Oh, one last thing. Your Living In Eden Series…is it going to be just a trilogy? I was really hoping to see more of your characters:) Would you ever think of writing more in the same world, maybe about secondary characters from the books? (Like a certain sexy cop guy)

    Can’t wait for THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC!

  3. Michelle Rowen
     · November 10th, 2010 at 4:37 pm · Link

    Jane… thank you so much! :)

    Tori… I procrastinate A LOT at the start of the book, but I’ve accepted it since it’s part of my process. I practically have to force myself through the first twenty or so pages before I start getting a flow.

    And yes, EDEN will be a trilogy. I will leave it in a way where I will be able to come back to it if the publishing climate (ie: sales growth) indicates that there’s enough interest in that world to go back to it. However, I didn’t want to leave things dangling in case there isn’t that interest so I definitely want to wrap up the main plot threads in book three so readers will be satisfied in case there just aren’t any more books about Darrak and Eden.

    And I’d love the chance to follow other characters, although Ben probably wouldn’t be my first choice. He’s going to get a rather meaty arc in book three as it is. ;) I’d love to do a book about Lucas, but I’m thinking that might not be accepted by as many readers as I’d like it to be. ;)

  4. Tori
     · November 10th, 2010 at 11:15 pm · Link


    Oh, believe me, I TOTALLY understand that. For some reason getting me from idea to actually writing a book is quite hard. It’s the middles that really make it or break it for me though. If I can’t find the direction in the middle I’m not going to make it to the end.

    I think that is very considerate of you Michelle. I’ve read a few books lately that didn’t even have real endings…they left everything in the air, and when I emailed the author about it they said they wanted reader’s to make their own conclusions. The fact that you are working so hard to make sure everything is understood and covered is just awesome! Oh, and for what it’s worth…OLD BLACK MAGIC has my name on it! And any other books you write. I am especially excited for NIGHTSHADE. You wrote about it on your blog so long ago:)

    A book about Lucas? Now that’s a thought:) I would certainly buy it!

    Thank you for always taking the time to answer my questions:) I hope it doesn’t annoy you too much!

  5. Michelle Rowen
     · November 11th, 2010 at 4:16 pm · Link

    “they wanted reader’s to make their own conclusions” could be a politically correct way of them saying “my publisher didn’t want more books.” I’ve been faced with that once before and I’ll never again end anything on a question mark if there’s the possibility I won’t be able to wrap things up properly.

    And I’m perfectly happy to answer your questions, Tori! :)

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