Nano Spotlight: Sushi Must Write

October 24, 2013

Good large_ponymorning, friends and followers. This morning, it’s my special pleasure to bring you a very special spotlight interview with the wonderful Sushi–a wrimo among wrimos, admin of the Wikiwrimo, and someone who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several times at Night of Writing Dangerously events in San Francisco. She’s also the only spotlight victim so far who has dared to appeal the usual questions, on the grounds that she didn’t have a Nano plot. So… Sushi!

Why did you decide to participate in NaNoWriMo the first time?
I wanted to be a writer since fifth grade but never could finish writing a novel. By 2002 I had started one novel but gave up after three chapters. One evening in October I was reading friends’ diaries on Diaryland when one of those people mentioned a thing called National Novel Writing Month. Novel? Month? This immediately intrigued me because according to my teenage logic, how could I be a writer if I couldn’t finish writing a book?

So without any idea of what I was getting into, I signed up and finished with six hours to spare. And I’ve finished every year since.

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
I write a lot. 50k is a minimum, not a threshold, and after years and years of Nanoing, I take that very seriously. After all, NaNo is a self-challenge and there’s no fun if you’re not challenging yourself in some way.

I’m also a pantser, and the fact that I have only a tiny idea that may or may not work out doesn’t bother me one bit. Give me a concept and a character, and I’m ready to go. The rest can get figured out as I go along.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
This is a thing I could on and on about. But just to name a few:

Back up your novel in multiple places. Anything can happen: you wash your USB drive, you delete the email containing your novel, or your hard drive dies. Or all three happen on the same day. The more backups and the more regular backups you make, the better. Every year multiple people lose their novel at the end of the month. Don’t be one of them. Back up your novel.

Get involved in the NaNo community. I’ve been fortunate to meet most of my best friends through the NaNo community, and this community is supportive and kind. So go post on the forums, get involved with your region, and make a writing buddy or two. Writing a novel is much more fun with company.

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