Write-A-Thon: Write your book in 26 days (and live to tell about it), by Rochelle Melander

My Copy: 9781599633916 (image from bn.com)

I should have remembered to pick this book up and read it back in September so I would have myself mentally ready for NaNoWriMo, but oh well. And as my bestie says, if you wanna do it, don’t wait for a moment on the calendar, just do it.

Write-A-Thon taught me a few things that extra reading about NaNoWriMo should’ve taught me, that if you’re committed enough, you can get a start to finish rough draft that’s workable in 26 (or 30) days. The author alludes to NaNoWriMo a few times as far as a motivating force (which it certainly is for most people) while clearing up some of the misconceptions about writing in such a short space of time as a goal. This is for a working rough draft, start to finish as best you can. Some people–like me–initially discounted the idea of writing a book in a month or less because of research and multiple drafts and whatnot. Took a bit more reading and learning to find that wasn’t the case.

This book is not a workbook, outlining what to do for day 1 through day 26 or anything. It’s broken into three parts: “training,” the write-a-thon itself, and the “recovery” period after a major writing project. You can use these tips for anything from a short to a longer writing stint. The book is largely about keeping yourself going strong and when you find yourself flagging (or facing that dreaded “writer’s block”), how to get around it.

There are quite a few books about writing strong out there, but this one’s got some good humor to it, helpful exercises scattered around, and is a resource that’s good for anyone who wants to do a 30 day writing contest to help them stay the course and keep focus. Write-a-Thon is chock-full of personal experience and examples of other authors who’ve had great ideas, dismal ideas, stalled progress or manic energy and how to capitalize on strengths to get the job done. Worth a read.

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