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This week marks the start of National Novel Writing Month, but for those who don’t want to sit down and pen the next great American novel, writing a book isn’t out of the question. Take a look at four successful blogs-turned-books that might inspire you to start typing a few posts of your own, whether you want to give a little guidance or share funny photos.
By Pamela Slim
This guidebook to starting your own business began as a class assignment about building a business platform online. Both blog and book encourage readers to who want to strike out on their own to not be afraid of stepping out of the cubicle. The blog peaked at about 100,000 page views a month, and in this case the publisher came looking for the author.
By Walker Lamond
Lamond’s curated Tumblr account filled with advice for his future son attracted a dedicated group of followers within its first few weeks. Content is earnest but brief. In fact, most of Lamond’s guidelines are about the length of a tweet. Rule No. 548: “There is one way to cook perfect bacon. Find it.” The goal is to reach 1,001 rules, so he’s got a few more years of blogging ahead of him.
Edited by Jason Bitner
The blog behind Bitner’s book was originally a mixtape revival-inspired project that not only dusted off songs from the past, but also shared the stories of relationships that were tied to them. From Side A to Side B, the book is filled with the memories of young love and mixtapes. Think of it as an anthropological collection of playlists.
By Jessica Quirk
What started as a fashion blog that showed the world what Quirk decided to wear each day, transformed the blogger into a self-made style expert. Now Quirk, shares her remix tricks and shopping tricks, most have been broken down into detailed rules. For example, wardrobe budgets should be spent 30 percent in the spring, 15 percent in the summer, 45 in the fall and 10 percent in the winter. Quirk also drew all of the book’s outfit illustrations.
Five things to know about NaNoWriMo
Nov. 1 marks the start of National Novel Writing Month, nicknamed NaNoWriMo. Columbians have picked up their pens and keyboards to participate in the past, but if you’re new to the project, here’s the gist followed by five things you should know before you commit.
The premise of NaNoWriMo is simple. Write a novel in a month. Hit the 50,000-word minimum, which is about 175 pages). And don’t plagiarize.
1. It’s a long way to the finish line. In 2011, the project had 256, 618 participants. Only 36, 843 made it to the 50,000-word finish line. Now, that’s a lot of novels, but it’s only a 14 percent success rate.
2. Write a lot. Just looking at the number side of things, to hit 50,000 words over the course of a single month, you need to write a minimum of 1,666 words every day. If you exclude weekends, then that ups it to 2,300. If you only write on the weekends, then 6,000 per day. So, plan accordingly.
3. That being said, hitting the right word count isn’t the real goal. Lots of people can write 50,000 words, but you want those words to be a novel, hopefully a good one. Even the NaNoWriMo site warns writers to be prepared to jot down a lot of crap before getting to the final draft.
4. While plagiarism is a big no-no. Crowd sourcing is acceptable and sometimes encouraged. Even the NaNoWriMo Facebook pages encourages the participants who have already been planning to share their ideas with little activities, such as describing their main characters in three words. — If you’d like some in-person support, connect with some of the 700+ participants in the Columbia region.
5. There’s more than one winner, and very few (if any) losers. In an ideal world, everyone would finish, but that’s not always possible. So, just because you don’t doesn’t mean you’ve lost. At least you started.
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