Surprise! You know when I said I wasn’t going to post this Wednesday? Well, I changed my mind. I finished NaNoWriMo (reached my 50,000 words, and actually finished my story) much earlier than I thought, and my fingers were itching to blog, so here we go.
This NaNoWriMo (my fifth) was both more difficult and more successful than the others I have done. I struggled to reach the word count, but I learned more about writing and my own process than I have with any other project.
In that spirit (and in the spirit of loving bullet points), here is some of what I learned and things that stood out to me during NaNoWriMo:
- I have more time that I can write than I thought. It’s a matter of using it.
- Barricading yourself in your house for the weekend works.
- Having a clear picture of what a scene/segment/act will look like makes a HUGE difference…
- …But even if you don’t have one, you still need to write.
- You can fix bad writing. The only way to fix a blank page is to actually, you know, write.
- The power of “good enough” is real, and it is plenty for a first (or zero) draft.
- Reading blogs about writing is not writing.
- Watching videos from writers about their process is not writing.
- Only sitting down and writing is writing.
- Writing advice is, at best, always suspect.
- Even 200-500 words a day adds up. Just because I don’t have an uninterrupted two-hour block of time, that doesn’t mean I can’t get any writing done.
- Writing consistently makes a huge difference, but it is still important to take breaks and allow your ideas enough incubation time.
I know that my manuscript needs a lot of work. I’m going to be working as hard as I can to do as much research as possible, and edit it heavily (you can expect to hear about that here on my blog), but for now I’m going to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from reaching a big goal, and celebrate by binge-watching as many episodes of West Wing as I can and eating the rest of my Thanksgiving leftovers. What more can you ask for?
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