On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 3:55 AM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
We promised we’d send you a mammoth email.
Ta-da! Here it is.
This is part welcome wagon, part instructional manual, and part pep talk. After you read everything, save the email for reference; it’s full of helpful tips!
Before you do anything else, complete your registration by clicking on this link or copying and pasting it in your browser:
After you’re logged in, enter your preferred password. Be sure to hit “Submit” at the bottom of the page to save this information!
Then, you’ll have the opportunity to complete your Author Profile and get to know other participants in the NaNoWriMo forums. To fill out your author profile, just click the “Edit Author Info” link and “Edit Novel Info” links from the My NaNoWriMo page. You upload your photo from the “Edit User Settings” link. Remember to scroll down and hit “Submit” to save your changes.
On November 1, we’ll unlock the novel-excerpt and word-count area of your author profile, so you can post your escalating word count, view your personal stats, and offer an excerpt of your work-in-progress to friends and fans.
When you registered for your account, you had the opportunity to affiliate with a NaNoWriMo region. You can affiliate with more than one NaNoWriMo region, and choose one region to make your Home Region. Many towns have Municipal Liaisons (MLs) to organize NaNo write-ins and get-togethers in October and November, and affiliating with a region will automatically add you to the regional email list for updates about local events. Every region has a special message board called a Regional Lounge that becomes visible to affiliates of that region on the Forums page.
To affiliate with any region, just sign in to the site and click the My Regions link in the left-hand menu on your profile page. When you click that, you’ll see three tabs. The Regions tab lets you affiliate with any of NaNoWriMo regions around the world. Once you’ve affiliated with the region (or regions—you can pick a bunch if you like), you should pick one of them to be your Home Region on that beautiful Home Region tab.
Picking a Home Region will add your word count to your region’s cumulative tally, allowing you to do your part in crushing the spirits of NaNoWriMo authors in rival cities and towns. It also designates any donation you make by check or through our store to your regional donation totals. (Be sure to include your site username when donating, though! That is the only way to attribute your contribution to your Home Region!)
Before you head off to train those typing fingers, we wanted to offer a few bits of advice. You’ll find many great tips in the forums, and we’ll be sending pep talks directly to your inbox during November. But for now, here’s a quick overview of the three-and-a-half things we wish we had known for our first NaNoWriMo:
1) It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. You’ve read a lot of novels, so you’re completely up to the challenge of writing one. If you feel more comfortable outlining your story ahead of time, do it! But it’s also fine to just wing it. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now.
2) Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December and beyond. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn’t. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.
3) Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November. This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month. Seriously. Email them now about your awesome new book. The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse.
3.5) There will be times you’ll want to quit during November. This is okay. Everyone who wins NaNoWriMo wanted to quit at some point in November. Stick it out. See it through. Week Two can be hard. Week Three is much better. Week Four will make you want to yodel.
And we’re talking the good kind of yodeling here.
A final word before you head off! NaNoWriMo is a grassroots nonprofit, funded almost entirely by participant donations. If you get something out of NaNoWriMo, we ask that you come by our secure online Donation Station and Store and make a small donation to help keep the program going strong. Even $10 makes a world of difference! http://store.lettersandlight.org
With great well wishes on the noveling month ahead,
The NaNoWriMo Team
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