10 Lessons of NaNoWriMo

dad-3You can’t participate in NaNoWriMo without learning a thing or two about writing and about yourself. This was my first time participating, though last year I did participate in a challenge to write a blog post every day in November. Kind of a NaNoWriMo super light because those two things are nothing alike.

So what did I learn?

  1. It is possible to write 50,000 words in 25 days. Not an overachiever here, but I was busy on 11/6 and it was so early in the process I did not grasp the significance of missing the daily target of 1667 words. I was out of town for three days and unable to squeeze in writing time, and I finished on the 29th.
  2. I am neither planner, someone who plans their entire novel and perhaps “fills in the blanks” or a pantster, someone who starts on November 1 with nothing planned and writes by the seat of their pants. I am a plantster. I did some planning and quite a lot of writing by the seat of my pants.
  3. Reading the book No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty, founder of this crazy writing experiment was extremely beneficial.
  4. As the days wore on it became easier and easier to let go of my inner critic and write.
  5. My writing improved over the course of the month.
  6. Sometimes my characters refused to tell me what happened next.
  7. I don’t work full time. I can’t imagine trying to do this and work.
  8. I can write on road trips, also known as how I was able to get my word count in over the Thanksgiving holiday without appearing to be anti-social.
  9. There is some shockingly bad writing that happened in the middle of the month and I’m okay with that (see #4 and #6).
  10. I found it easier to write a 50,000 word novel than a short story.

AND a bonus lesson: I want to do it again!

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I wrote a novel!

I haven’t been around the blog much (or really any) at all because as it turns out I can’t blog and write an entire 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It’s one or the other. As of about 3:30 p.m. EST I finished the novel. I’ll be back tomorrow to report on the experience, because it was definitely an experience.

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Let’s Dance

I’m hoping that my candidate wins (I voted early, did you?), and you hope your candidate wins. I hope that we both wanted the same candidate but, hey, if I liked you before, I will probably still like you now. Let’s just not talk politics. Let’s not talk politics for the next 10 years or so because I am full up!

But we can choose to be happy, can’t we? Break it down and get a feeling in your body! Right now, get up and dance with JT…

So Novel

It’s November 1. Time to start writing the novel along with all the other Nanowrimo folks. I’m all set. You can see my word counter over there on the right. It’s set on zero at the moment, but give me a day or two. Besides, I’m writing this post on Monday afternoon, and schedule its publishing so I can concentrate my energies on the other thing.

According to advice I:

  • am banishing my inner critic/editor
  • will try to get ahead of my word count in week 1 (I’ll be out of town for part of week 2 so this may be particularly important)
  • will not worry if I have the perfect first sentence (but I do)

I’ll try to post here now and then, maybe with some sentences or paragraphs of the story. Or maybe not depending on how my inner editor is feeling about sharing.

My working title? Sure, I’ll share that… The Grace Gallery