Raising the Stakes on NaNoWriMo

I always look forward to November each year for more reasonsthan Thanksgiving. Though I am a sucker for turkey and stuffing, I also lovewatching my word counts skyrocket as I take part in National Novel WritingMonth.  (NaNoWriMo for short) For theuninitiated, during NaNoWriMo, writers seek to write 50,000 words in 30 days,which is the length of a short novel.
I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for three years, and I’veimproved every year. My first year, I barely squeaked by on the 30th,the next year I hit the goal on the 25th, and this year I took ahuge leap forward in finishing on the 17th
This got me to thinking—why couldn’t every month be likeNaNoWriMo? If I can do in November, what makes it impossible in January orJuly? The answer for me is: nothing. I just try harder in November to work hardand minimize distractions because I have a firm target.
With that in mind, I want to set a very high goal this year:I literally want to make every month like NaNoWriMo. I think I’ll call itNational Novel Writing Year (or NaNoWriYe) for short. I want to write 50,000per month for every month in 2012 for a grand total of 600,000 words.
To put that in perspective that’s about two installments ofRobert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series.  It is much more than I have ever written, butI think that I can do it. I am serious in my commitment to writing, and I thinkthis will be a formative year in my career.
I’m sure that many full-time authors can easily pull of thisfeat.  However, I’m working a full-timejob, have a wife and two kids, and a very busy schedule with the MormonTabernacle Choir.  I hope that in doingthis, I can inspire others who have busy lives to see that they can still fitwriting into their schedules.
I have also decided that I want to take it a step further.Many runners run to raise money for charity. I thought I would go ahead andwrite for charity instead. To help out, you can pledge an amount, howeversmall, for every month’s worth of words I write (every 50,000 words). Thatmeans, if you pledge $1, and I reach my goal, you would donate $12 to charity. In this case, I have selected the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in honor of a good friend who suffers from this disease. 
To pledge an amount, fill out the form below. All you needis a full name and email address.  I willthen send you an invoice through PayPal at the end of the challenge for theproper amount. I will be taking charity suggestions from my readers to figureout where the money should go.  I won’tkeep a dime.
Anyone else up to the challenge? I’m excited and already alittle tired just thinking about it. Luckily, I have several full noveloutlines ready to hash out, and I’ll be giving constant updates here on my blogthroughout the year. 
In this season of giving, I encourage you all to think ofways to spread the abundance we all have been given.  Have a happy and blessed Holiday Season. 

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