Monday, November 7, 2016

November Letter from the Editor

It’s NaNoWriMo month, so this may be the shortest Letter from the Editor ever! I’m trying to do 1600 words a day, and, unfortunately, these don’t count. What does count is that every November, many of us remember we’re writers. We put other things aside, we give our families the evil eye and say, this is my month.

My month! Imagine if we did that year-round, made writing a priority . . . every month. Writers are notoriously giving people. I think that’s why we write in the first place, because we’re studiers of human nature and we thrive on communication. In that same vein, many of us are people pleasers and can easily put our careers second, third, fourth... until sometimes it's buried.

Realty Check: The truly successful authors put their writing first.

So, while we’re doing NaNo this month, or some version of it, I’d like to send out this challenge. How far could you go if your writing came first?

We have some terrific articles on Writing from the Peak this month. If you haven’t read Writing Coach Deb McLeod’s Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo, please do so. Jason Evans is back with his history column this Wednesday; we’ll introduce another Pikes Peak Writers' member in, what else? Meet the Member. Catherine Dilts ends her fantastic ergonomics series with more valuable tips and exercises for our sedentary lifestyles; Darby Karchut visits with some desert musings from a recent trip; and we have three new columnists. (I can't wait to share!)

On a sad note, our Sweet Success Coordinator, Kathie Scrimgeour, after years of spearheading Sweet Success, is stepping down. Sweet Success is a wonderful facet of Writing from the Peak, and we will miss Kathie. But never fear, she'll stay on in Meet the Member. Ann Hill, who has been a contributor for the last few months will be taking Kathie's place. Please remember, if you have good news as a Pikes Peak Writers' member -- a publishing contract, a contest final or win, even if you've finished your novel or got a sterling review, Sweet Success is your vehicle, and we want to know about it. Contact Ann at or me at

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, I wish you the best of luck. And to enable your trek further, I’ll leave you with this quote from Pulitizer-Prize winner Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit. “Change may not be fast and it’s not always easy. But with time and effort almost any habit can be reshaped.”

How far could you go if you your writing came first? 

Have a fabulous November.

About the Author: Donnell Ann Bell is the managing editor for Writing from the Peak, the coordinator for the monthly Open Critique held on the first Wednesday of every month, and one of Pikes Peak Writer's board members at largeShe is a best selling romantic suspense and mystery author. To learn more about her books, find her at

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