Jennette Marie Powell

My Not-so-secret to NaNo Success: DUH!

I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year, because I’m knee-deep in revisions for my upcoming time travel romance, Time’s Fugitive, which is due for release in late December. NaNo is for writing new pages, and requires a new project, and only once have I been at the right stage in my writing to attempt it. That was in 2009, and I won!

No small part of my success was due to the fact that I’d spent most of October planning. Yes, I’m one of those “outliners.” For me, to write without a plan is to invite writers’ block. So hopefully you’ve done whatever pre-planning is necessary to help you succeed.

The other side of the equation was having a plan for my time and production. With a full-time job and a family unwilling to accept me being unavailable for a month, it was important for me to knock out the writing as quickly as possible, on a schedule that worked around the rest of life. For that, here comes the DUH principle to the rescue!

I learned the DUH principle several years ago in psychologist/author Margie Lawson‘s wonderful Defeat Self-defeating Behaviors online workshop.  Its three facets are:

  1. Do it first. Or at least, as close to first as possible. I’m sooooo not a morning person, so there’s no getting up early to write. So I got my NaNo word count in first thing after I got home from work.
  2. Understand it might not be easy. This is where I’d sit down, look over my outline, and Just Do It, even if I didn’t feel like it (and I often didn’t).
  3. Hurray! Celebrate your progress and success! The profile pages on the NaNoWriMo site provide a place to note your word count progress each day, so go add them in! And if you have time, heck, why not head over to the NaNoWriMo forums and share your success, or encourage someone else in their journey?

Jennette Marie Powell
TIME’S ENEMY: One man against a secret society of time travelers – and the woman he loves
Available in ebook and print at, and


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5 Responses to Jennette Marie Powell

  1. Thanks for sharing my post, Michele! I’ve enjoyed reading all the tips from others this month.

  2. As a pantster, I just sit down and write, but you are so right about the “Do It.” Even if you don’t feel like it, do it anyway. Blocked? Open a new doc and write something. Even if it is junk, the core of what you need will probably be in there. But, DUH, is right on the mark. Great post.

  3. Thanks, Prudence! “Just write something” is a great way to get going. Now I need to “just revise something” LOL!

  4. Lynn Kelley says:

    You DUH principle makes perfect sense! Thanks for sharing. Your time travel story sounds sooooooo good!

    Michele, thanks for hosting Jennette!

  5. Lynn, thanks on both counts! I hope the DUH principle helps you!