NaNoWriMo: It’s the Taking Part That Counts

We sponsor NaNoWriMo 2015

In November, hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world commit to the craziness of writing a novel of 50,000 words in a month. During the last couple of weeks, we have been following some of them.

The good news is: They survived! Not all of them hit the goal, but all claim that NaNoWriMo has been a valuable experience.

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The 50,000 Words Writing Setup

We sponsor NaNoWriMo 2015

In November, hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world commit to the craziness of writing a novel in a month. They do it voluntarily, just for fun – but what does it feel like? To find that out, we’re following some of them on their path of surviving NaNoWriMo. 

Part 5: For today’s post we asked our Wrimos to tell us about their writing setup.

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“You Can Work Naked, if You Want”

Mark Hodder had been writing radio spots and web content, before he started being able to make a living as novelist. That was seven years ago. In our interview he weighs the pros and cons of his job, unveils his daily word count and shares some indispensable advice for aspiring authors.

Mark Hodder
Mark Hodder

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The NaNoWriMo Disclosure

We sponsor NaNoWriMo 2015

In November, hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world commit to the craziness of writing a novel in a month. They do it voluntarily, just for fun – but what does it feel like? To find that out, we’re following some of them on their path of surviving NaNoWriMo.

Part 4: Compared to model railroad building or yoga, writing a novel in a month is a rather unusual hobby. Do Wrimos talk about their commitment, and can they count with interest and support if they do?

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November 1: One Day in the Life of a Wrimo

We sponsor NaNoWriMo 2015

In November, hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world commit to the craziness of writing a novel in a month. They do it voluntarily, just for fun – but what does it feel like? To find that out, we’re following some of them on their path of surviving NaNoWriMo.

Part 3: Albeit there is still a lot lying ahead of our Wrimos, they actually survived the first day of the challenge – and told us what happened.

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7 Stories, Waiting to Be Written Down

We sponsor NaNoWriMo 2015

In November, hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world commit to the craziness of writing a novel in a month. They do it voluntarily, just for fun – but what does it feel like? To find that out, we’ll follow some of them on their path of surviving NaNoWriMo. For today’s post we asked them to summarize their stories in only three sentences. 

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How Writers Prepare for NaNoWriMo

We sponsor NaNoWriMo 2015

In November, hundreds of thousands of writers from all over the world commit to the craziness of writing a novel in a month. They do it voluntarily, just for fun – but what does it feel like? To find that out, we’ll follow some of them on their path of surviving NaNoWriMo.

Today is part 1: How do they prepare?

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“It Took Me at Least Seven Years to Call Myself a Writer”

Murmel Clausen is a German writer of screenplays, scripts for TV shows and series as well as novels, most of them in the comedy genre. Among other things, he collaborated on the western parody “Manitou’s shoe” which was one of the most successful German movies since 1945. His first novel was made into a film by the German actor and director Matthias Schweighöfer.

Murmel, could you please tell us how you got around to doing what you do?

Murmel Clausen
Murmel Clausen

I have to blame and thank my old friend Max Witzigmann for that. He worked for a radio station in Munich after graduating from school and asked me in 1994 to do a comedy show with him. So I had to write my first skits and had a great time doing so. Some of the stuff is still pretty funny. Then Max introduced me to a TV producer who hired me for a comedy show as a writer. But I have to admit that it took me another, well, at least seven years to call myself that.

Have you always wanted to do this, or did it rather happen by chance? Or let me ask the other way round: Have your ever considered an “ordinary” profession such as clerk, baker or teacher?

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“I fell in love almost immediately”

Neil Dixon
Neil Dixon

Please tell us something about you: Who are you, what is your profession and what are you working on?

For the day-job, I have been a web developer since the late 1990s, sometimes freelance, other times employed. I am based in the North Cornwall coast in the UK, while my current main work focus is based in Los Angeles. This makes for some interesting—and many long—evenings.

The rest of my time is split between two main projects. Firstly, what I aim to become my main activity next year: art. I began working life as an illustrator in publishing and retail, but found a more technical side as computers took over from imagesetters and airbrushes (yes, I am that old). I am long overdue getting back to my core creative pursuits as something more than a pastime. Earlier this year I was accepted as an associate member of the Society for Graphic Fine arts, which is a valuable validation of my drawing skills.

Secondly, writing. From short stories in horror and speculative fiction, to novels and in particular a thriller series set in 1902 London. Far too many in-progress or planned, all too few ready for publishing. In addition I write intermittently to several blogs, both personal and business-focused.

When time and weather allows, I am either walking my large scent-hound, Jasper, cycling the far-too-hilly country roads around home, and when the Atlantic is in a temperate mood, bodyboarding in the surf.

"The Line" graphite, pencil on Canson
“The Line” graphite, pencil on Canson

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“The moment when I fell on my knees was the very moment that changed my life.”

Janice Jakait made the headlines in 2012, because she was the first German woman to cross the Atlantic ocean in a row boat. After coming back she wrote a book about her experiences: “Tosende Stille” (“Roaring Silence”, available in German only).

Janice in her boat, shortly before arriving in Barbados, February 12, 2012
Janice in her boat, shortly before arriving in Barbados, February 12, 2012

The blog you wrote during this adventure is called “Row for Silence”. What does this refer to?

When I rowed alone across this ocean – just two oars, no sail, no motor – I was aiming for more silence. More silence in my head and more silence beneath the ocean’s surface. Together with the swiss organization OceanCare, we tried to raise awareness for the dramatic impacts of man-made ocean noise pollution, which results in the death of countless sea dwellers. 

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