All change for November

“At that moment I must have lost my presence of mind.”

November's cause!
November’s cause!

A couple of years ago, in a fit of ‘all mouth and no trousers‘ I signed up to NaNoWriMo.  For the uninitiated that stands for National November Writing Month.

Why do I write ‘all mouth and no trousers‘?  Because in both the previous two Novembers I didn’t even think about writing a single word, let alone actually write a word.  OK, a year ago we were in the middle of settling down into our home here in Merlin.  But still ….

So this November, I have committed to have a go.  Or as the NaNoWriMo blog post explains:

NaNoWriMo 2013: Want to Write a Novel?

It’s just a few days until November, and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month, better known ’round these parts as NaNoWriMo, is near.

Have you always wanted to write a novel?

We know some of you have been waiting all year for this month! For those of you who are new to this project, here’s the gist:

Who: You — whether you’re a seasoned novelist, novice writer, wannabe author, or a blogger up for a challenge.

What: A project in which you work toward a goal of writing a 50,000-word novel.

Where: On your laptop. At your desk. In your favorite café. Wherever inspiration strikes.

When: Kicking off this Friday, November 1, and ending at 11:59 pm on November 30.

Why: You’re creative and passionate about words. You’ve got a story to tell. You want to participate in a fun, rewarding project and push others to stretch their imaginations, too.

How: Sign up at, where you can plan your novel, track your progress, and join a community that offers support, encouragement, and advice — online and off.

So that means that for the month of November I shall have my head down for quite a fews hours each day in the self-imposed challenge of seeing if I can actually write a 50,000 word novel in one month! To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of 1,670 words every single day, seven days a week, for the thirty days of the month!

Ergo, the time for writing posts for Learning from Dogs is going to be very severely restricted!

In fact, it’s worse than that!  I’m going to be sharing my scribblings with you.

As the NaNoWriMo site goes on to suggest:

While the NaNoWriMo website is where you’ll capture the magic, we hope you’ll use your blog to post updates, test your material, and share tips:

Connect with other participants on Be sure to follow NaNoWriMo in your Reader to read what others all over the world are writing and saying throughout the month.

Test material on your readers. While diving into a novel is a solitary journey, know that you’ve got a support network in your readership — they know your voice, so consider trying out material on your blog. Not sure if a scene is working? Post an excerpt.

Reflect on your writing process. If you don’t want to share your novel-in-progress or get too specific with your readers, that’s fine. But consider taking time in between your sessions to reflect on your process: roadblocks you’ve hit, questions about your craft, and advice for other participants.

“Share the lessons you learn about your writing — and yourself — through your NaNo journey,” says Kristi. Then, tag these posts with NaNoWriMo so others can find them. There’s already chatter in the Reader, so dive in: you’ll find resourceful and inspirational posts by bloggers like Kristen LambRachel PetersonCristian Mihai, and E.E. Blake.

My idea is to post completed chapters here on Learning from Dogs every couple of days or so.  Aiming for the foreword In the beginning to be posted here next Monday, the 4th. Then Chapter One, Chapter Two, and, just possibly, Chapter Three by the end of next week.  Tomorrow, November 1st, I will share my synopsis for my novel!

NaMoWriMo stress the importance of writing; writing; writing and not losing the impetus of getting those words out by dilly-dallying in constant editing; something that I am rather prone to do over what is now more than 1,850 posts since July, 2009!

Thus the writings posted on Learning from Dogs will have many obvious errors.  So what would be truly fantastic is to have your feedback, both good and bad, also highlighting crap writing and obvious mistakes, plus any ideas as to how the story might evolve. Because at this moment in time, I don’t have much of an idea.  Mind you, I bet I’m not alone.  The NaNoWriMo website shows there are 186,437 Novelists up for it this November!

During the intervening days, in other words non-sharing days, I’ll try and find something quick or humorous to post or, perhaps, repost something that has previously been published in this place.

So if all this doesn’t ‘rock your boat’, I’ll see you on December 1st!  Assuming there is some level of creative sanity left in me!

Have a good month, people!

15 thoughts on “All change for November

  1. Paul Wishing you well in this challenge, and I will be looking forward to reading, and yes what a change,from your usual topics… But they say a Change is as good as a rest.. So I know you will do an excellent job, and I am sure Jean will give you a few pointers lol 😉 as I remember her own excellent short story some time back you posted..

    Enjoy your Halloween Party… I hope its a Screeeeeeeammmmmmm! 😉


    1. Thanks Alex.

      The first discipline that I need is to close my browser so I don’t interrupt my writings to answer comments on the blog! Guarantee that I will fail that objective!!


  2. It will be interesting to see what comes! If memory is not playing tricks on me, you were in the throes of “writing a book” early on here in Payson…to the extent that my nieces’ Alaskan Sheperd SEIKO was something of an inspiration! So, go for it…wherever it takes you…it’s been brewing for a while now!, just ITCHING to surface! Love….magmaryanne


    1. MaryAnne, how wonderful to see you here again! Yes, you are quite right about the book. But it was, supposedly, a non-fiction book and despite having about 20,000 words under my belt, I ran out of steam a couple of months ago.

      So, despite the scary nature of the challenge, I hope that spouting off about it to all my LfD readers makes it so humiliating to fail!

      Your comment is so much appreciated.

      Lots of love, Paul


  3. Once Einstein met Valery in Paris. “What’s the little book for?” enquired Albert. “So I can write my fresh ideas, dear Albert!” Einstein was baffled:”But ideas are very rare. I could never forget the few I had.”

    The giant mathematician Gauss had the motto:”Pauca, Sed Matura.” (few, but mature.)

    Verbal diarrhea ought not to be confused with what’s needed. Yet studies have shown that, the more blogs publish, the more popular they are. Thus demonstrating how uneducated the public is, and how much it wants to pet a cat. All the time, everyday.


    1. Patrice, not sure if you are offering me encouragement or cautioning me! 😉

      Foreword coming out on Monday so you will have your chance then to examine my writing condition!

      Always welcome your thoughts, but you know that too well.


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