Friday, September 16, 2011

Become a Writing Ninja

Thanks so much for letting me hijack your blog today, Misha! I always welcome a chance to tell writers about the dojo and how writing as a team can help us be successful. But what is a writing ninja?

YOU are a writing ninja.
You train until your writing muscles are weary and your brain just can't take any more.
Then you train some more.
You often work under the cover of darkness.
You kill your darlings.
Slit the throats of your beautiful, drippy prose.
Slash pages and pages of useless stuff.
And you murder your story. In a totally good way, of course.
But while ninjas often work alone, they train in a dojo, with other ninjas who are all working toward the same goal--ultimate skill and perfection.
I love National Novel Writing Month. I love knowing I'm slaving away next to other worthy writers. Their presence and commitment keeps me going, pulls me through my dark times and pushes me toward the finish line--that magical place called THE END.
But NaNo only comes along once a year, which is really, really sad. 
Enter: Ninja Novel Writing Month. (#NiNoWriMo)
When you're ready to throw some words down, don't do it alone! Grab a badge (from the dojo page), and add your blog to the Mr. Linky on the dojo page. That way, everyone can know who's training at the dojo. Note: we also have Ninja Novel Revising Month (#NiNoReMo) and Ninja Novel Querying Month (#NiNoQuMo!).

Most of the support comes on Twitter as we use the hashtags to find each other and cheer each other along. Also, on Thursdays I host a ninja on my blog who writes about one of five essential skills: Meditation (how you stay grounded), Warm Up/Stretch (how you can get into the mood to write), Forms & Techniques (the nitty-gritty of writing), Kicks & Tricks (those special elements that help take our writing to the next level or how do you reward yourself for meeting your writing goals), and Courtesy (how do you give back to the writing community, or give thanks for the support you've received).
This dojo is always open. There are always ninjas here to write with you--you don't ever have to train alone!

  Join us at the dojo, fellow ninjas!
ali cross is the author of the young adult urban fantasy series, DESOLATION. Her first book, BECOME, will be released November, 2011. She's also the creator and sensei of the writer's dojo at and co-host of an online writer's conference coming February 2012. You can find ali at her blog, and Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.


  1. Thanks for having Ali on your blog, Misha! I've been a huge fan of ninja writing since discovering her super-adorable badges! I'm now a Revising/Querying Ninja. Would highly recommend anyone considering it to give it a go. It's less stressful than NaNoWriMo in my opinion, as you get to set your own targets!

  2. I love this idea. Not that I'm participating in NaNoWriMo. But this could be fun. *runs off to check it out*

  3. Writing Ninjas rock! Over the past year, I've met so many new writing buddies that participate in NaNoWriMo. Adding them to my buddy list for this year's NaNoWriMo will give me that extra push to keep writing through November.

  4. Its nice to meet Ali and reading about her. Thanks Misha for introducing me to her.

  5. Great post Ali! :)

    Being a writing ninja sounds awesome!

  6. What cute li'l writing ninjas! And I love the concept. :) Thanks for the guest post, Ali and Misha! All that hard ninja training has to produce some awesome results. Write on!

  7. Great description of what you're doing Ali. Going to get the badge.

  8. I will have to check out the dojo! Sounds like it could be a handy pick-me-up for days where writer's block seems to be lurking just around the corner.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. @JC Yay! I'm so happy to hear that the whole ninja thing's working for you! That makes me so happy!

    @Stina It really IS a lot of fun! So nice to know you're not alone in the big, bad writing world. Thanks Stina!

    @Laura I totally agree! It's much more fun writing with friends, knowing there are others slaving away right along with you. Love NaNo!

    @Rachna Nice to meet you too! I'm coming right over . . .

    @Amy It IS awesome! But mainly because it's so much more fun to write with friends!

    @Carol Thanks Carol! I do think that we need to be dedicated to our craft to be successful--hence the constant "training"!

    @Patti Thank you!

    @Tracy I do hope you find it as helpful as I have!

    @lbdiamond Thanks!

    @Eagle Thanks Eags!

    Misha ~ Thank you so much for hosting me today and giving the opportunity to share a little about my ninjas. I love writing in the company of writers who keep me motivated AND accountable. And thank you for introducing me to your readers!

  10. Love it, Ali. Great post! Can't wait to read your book.
    : )

  11. The problem is, sometimes my story tries to murder ME... and my ninja skills aren't quite honed enough yet to defend myself... ack!!!

  12. I want to be a Ninja! I love it! And the cartoons are sooo cute!


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