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June 7. Bad. Wrote nothing today. Tomorrow no time. - Franz Kafka.
We are four days in. Many people have created accounts. I encourage you all to step up to the Starting Line now. We're only a few days in and I'm sure some of you are working on plays, so why not make it formal and declare yourself. Let us know who you are, the title of your play (if you know it), and a little bit about the play (if you know anything at this point). It's relatively painless.
Why do we have a Starting Line, anyway? Why make a public declaration that you're writing a play in November?
The Starting Line is the first small step to your goal: writing a play in November. Writing down your goal makes it real. Your intention becomes concrete. It's out in the world now rather tha rattling around in your head. We all start from this same place. It allows us to come together with a common goal and to offer support and encouragement from each other. Great title! Love the idea! Love your voice! I want to see this play!
Naplwrimo is a strange beast. It artificially condenses the writing process into a few short weeks. Sometimes you're on fire and sometimes you're slow to warm. There have been years where I started strong and ran aground after a week. There were others where things came slowly, but took off eventually. You just never know until you to enter. You make this agreement to write a play and be held accountable for that commitment. It sounds so ominnous and serious. We take the commitement part seriously, why make a hollow commitment?
It's risky. It feels vulnerable. Words come up like criticism, fear, failure, overthinking, perfectionism, procrastination, and the dreaded writer's block. Stepping up to the Starting Line puts everything in play. I'm asking you to put aside your doubts and reservations. Trust in this first step. Trust yourself. Trust the process.
If none of this applies to you, say you're cranking away on your play and things are going fine, I understand. Why step in and participate in the community?
That's the other part of Naplwrimo. It's about community. We share our stories and our struggles. We share our wisdom and we offer advice. We're here for each other. Everyone has something they can offer. Your participation makes the community richer and more vibrant.
Ususally we go through the writing process alone. You're in charge of managing your own psychology. You don't have a team on the sidelines cheering you on. There's no place to check in daily and get the attaboys or attagirls, or ask for advice, or find someone else who's struggling with the same thing you are. When we engage with other writers we feel less isolated and more engaged.
End of sermon.
Please accept my intivation to join us at the Starting Line.
N.B. Alternately, maybe you just didn't know about the Starting Line. In any case, head on over!
One of the secrets to finishing Naplwrimo is to get ahead. We've compiled a list of Rhino Best Practices to help guide you through the month and take advantage of the burst of energy that comes at the beginning of the event.
Go to the forums and introduce yourself to one other playwright. Find out what you have in common (maybe you live in the same region or the same city), discuss your favorite playwrights or what inspires you. Try to do this everyday.
Go to the forums and find a playwright who has either finished Naplwrimo or participated in the marathon before. Ask them for advice.
Participate in the forums. Share stories, commiserate, offer advice or support.
Bookmark The tracking page. This page is your friend. It displays all new posts in the Naplwrimo forums and on the site in one convenient menu. Stay in the loop without having to browse the site for hours. You’re here to write after all, and we know that!
Follow the 7 Rules of the Rhino.
Don’t let anyone tell you there are rules. Follow your own rules. You're a Rhino. Own it.
Save your wrists from Repetitive Strain Injury and install the free program WorkRave to help you remember to stretch and take breaks.
If you’re on the fence about signing up, try this: write a scene between your inner critic and you writer self. Set a timer for 10 minutes and write. Once you’re done, choose (never decide) what you’re going to do.
After you’ve chosen (again, never decide), commit yourself for the month and write 3 pages. It doesn’t have to be the beginning of your play. Just write 3 pages. Any 3 pages. If you don’t know where to start in your play, make a list of all the things you do know about the play you want to write. Keep writing. You’ll be surprised how much you already know about the play you want to write.
Call, Facebook, Twitter or email 3 people you know (and that you know are supportive of your creative endeavors (don’t pick your saboteurs, you know who they are…) and let them know you’re doing Naplwrimo.
Write, write, write!! Get your pages done!
(Rhinoceros, Gregory MacAvoy)
It's March 1 (unbelieveably) and we're going to forge ahead into rewrites. Yes, I've been strangely absent since November. Let's think of it as a period of hibernation. I've needed a lot of hibernation this winter for whatever reason.
But I realize it's time to get moving again and I'm thinking that a rewriting month will be a good way to ease back into action. With that in mind, I'm asking you to join me. If you want to continue to work on your script from the last Naplwrimo challenge, that's fine - either continue writing it or dive into a rewrite (whatever works for you).
My plan is to do a couple of blog posts each week and keep a daily conversation & check-ins going on our Facebook page and on Twitter (@naplwrimo). Why am I doing it this way? It's just more manageable for me right now.
I'm still looking for someone to update our website. I'm going to double down on my search and set a goal to find someone this month. Thank you for your patience - I want to get the site working correctly so we can move forward with a little more stabilty and sustainability. More on that later.
In the meantime, please join me this month and let's hammer out a rewrite. The rules are pretty simple: got a play? need to rewrite it? This is your month. It's pretty low-key. I'm going to experiment with some different ways to think about structure and will share some exercises with you and please feel free to share your insights and any exercises that you want to try or that have proved useful for you.
- Tree Play
- Hello Rhinos
- 4 Character Exercises
- This Is Where the Work Begins
- One song over and over.
- From: Tree Play
- MetalLight: Engineering Dramatic Goals or It Only Takes A Minute To Procrastinate
- Dumb Puppy
- Your Genius is Out THERE
- The Care Of Trees
- Sources of Inspiration
- Weekend Bake-off
- A Couple of Things To Pull You Out of A Jam
- The Value of Composting
- 3 Days to Go
- Why We Do This: It's About Community
- Home Eck
- Some Signposts To Help You Through
- Blank Page
- Virtual Write-In this Weekend. Are You In?
- Write It Out
- Week 2: Bake-off Exercise
- Hangout Today
- November 13: Week 2
- Week 3: Bake-off Exercise + 3 Writing Exercises from Marisela Orta = Bustin' Out
- November 20: Week 3
- Test of 2011 Category
- November 27: Week 4
- November 29
- You've Crossed the Finish Line. What Now?
- Let's Do This: ReWrite Your Play
- Countdown: N-10 Days
- Countdown: N-9 Days
- Countdown: N-8 Days
- Countdown: N-7 Days
- Countdown: N-6 Days
- Countdown N-5 Days: What You Can Do Now
- Hall of Fame.
- Countdown N-4 Days: What is a Play Anyway?
- Countdown N-3 Days: What is it?
- Countdown N-2 Days: Guilt ≠ Accountability (and vice versa)
- Dumb Puppy/The Keeping Room
- Countdown N-1 Day: Time to Rhino Up
- Rhino Best Practices: A Guide for November
- November 1 (Please Post Your Daily Check In Here)
- November 2 (Please Post Your Daily Check In Here)
- November 3 (Please Post Your Daily Check In Here)
- November 4: Week 1
- Stepping Up to the Starting Line
- November 5 (Please Post Your Daily Check In Here)
- Daily Check In: November 6
- Daily Check In: November 7
- Daily Check In: November 8
- Daily Check In: November 9
- Daily Check In: November 10
- November 11: Week 2
- Daily Check In: November 12
- Daily Check In: November 13
- 1st Time Playwrights Represent
- Daily Check In: November 14
- Daily Check In: November 15
- Daily Check In: November 16
- Daily Check In: November 17
- November 18: Week 3
- Daily Check In: November 19
- Daily Check In: November 20
- Daily Check In: November 21
- Daily Check In: November 22
- Daily Check In: November 23
- Daily Check In: November 24
- November 25: Week 4
- Daily Check In: November 26
- Daily Check In: November 27
- Daily Check In: November 28
- Daily Check In: November 29
- Daily Check In: November 30
Naplwrimo runs on love, sweat and your generous help.
Thank you to our donors!
Machelle Allman, Holly Arsenault, Will Bond, Karen Chandler, Michael Lee, Leslie Liautaud, Jeff Mackey, Maggie McAleese, Marian McNamee, Marla Porter, and all our anonymous donors.