This week we are chatting with Elisabeth Bozem, who is participating in NaNoWriMo. We are always thrilled to get the chance to speak with writers taking part in this annual challenge.

Read on to hear Elisabeth’s experience with NaNoWriMo so far.

How many times have you participated in this annual challenge?

It’s my second time participating, but for the first time I’m not letting myself get overwhelmed by the pace. Instead, I’m focusing on getting on with the challenge bit by bit.

Can you tell us about your process? What have you found particularly works for you? 

I force myself not to focus on the recommended word count for the day. It works well for me to write firstly, when I can make the time and secondly, when inspiration strikes. As a mom with two small children, it’s not always easy to stick to a given routine as life can get unexpected.

NaNoWriMo is great for getting that first draft underway. As a writer, can you speak about the importance of first drafts? And how do drafts and outlines come into your process?

I am not yet published, though the story is actually a first draft I wrote during the summer and pledged to continue during November. So NaNoWriMo is giving me the opportunity to revisit the first ideas I put down on paper and develop on them.

What do you love the most about taking part in NaNoWriMo?

The idea that we are all in this together.

Tell us a little about your writing routine. Do you have a schedule each day or is it whenever creativity strikes?

I try to write in the morning when the kids aren’t up yet, or in the evening when my husband can look after them. But whenever creativity strikes, I manage to get away to at least jot down a few ideas and develop them later. My three-year-old finds it pretty cool that I am writing a book, so she lets me write as soon as she hears me typing furiously on the computer.

What advice would you give to someone taking part in this writing challenge for the first time?

I would refer them to the work of Julia Cameron in the Artist’s Way. Her idea that creativity is a fishing pond that should not be overfished is an inspiration for me to not let my creativity be worn out by the process. I focus on recharging, getting different sources of inspiration and speaking about my story and process. That’s what I did wrong the first time, I think.

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