Amanda L. Baker NaNoWriMo Interview

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 40-something, a high school and college English teacher. For fun, I grade essays and raise dogs. I live in the southeastern US. I have two Master’s degrees.

How many times have you attempted NaNoWriMo? Have you succeeded in the past?

This is my 8th attempt, and I’ve finished 6 times. None of them are very good. 😀

What can you tell us about your current work in progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo?

I am writing a novel based on a number of different students I’ve had over the years, a young man who is a product of the foster care system and the struggles and triumphs inherent in that. In the past, I’ve written science fiction, psychological thriller, teacher humor, and adventure/rescue kind of thing. All fiction.

How are you keeping yourself focused and on track for NaNoWriMo? What advice would you offer to someone else who wanted to attempt it?

I am writing my novel with 12 of my students. We have a chart on the wall of my classroom with the numbers from 1,000 to 50,000 on it in 5,000 word increments. As we hit the next set of numbers, I move up the student’s (or my) marker. If we start to fall behind, we challenge each other.

If our readers wanted to follow you and your work, what would be the best way to do that?

I don’t publish anything. YET. 😀

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

IT’S FUN. And, for one month, I get to say to my family, “Nope, not today. I’m writing.” It helps inspire my students to look at writing as fun and enjoyable again, a nice break from the daily grind of nonfiction rhetorical essays and high-stakes testing. Many of my former students who have done this with me (they write for extra credit) say that they aren’t worried about long projects, essay tests, etc… after this. The fear of fast writing is GONE.

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