You 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- Reading the book No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty, founder of this crazy writing experiment was extremely beneficial.
- As the days wore on it became easier and easier to let go of my inner critic and write.
- My writing improved over the course of the month.
- Sometimes my characters refused to tell me what happened next.
- I don’t work full time. I can’t imagine trying to do this and work.
- 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.
- There is some shockingly bad writing that happened in the middle of the month and I’m okay with that (see #4 and #6).
- 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!