Tuesday, November 08, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: what I've learned so far

I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month this year. This is technically my third time to attempt to write 50,000 words in the form of a semi-coherent novel. I won the first time (in 2009), and gave up within a few days the second time (in 2011, when I had a 4yo and a super-demanding infant, I really don’t know WHAT I was thinking). I’m at it again this year, and feel I have a pretty good chance of winning again. We’re a full week into this thing, and here are some things I’ve learned so far:

  1. The second-week slump is real, yo. The first several days I was rocking it, writing over 4,000 words on Nov 1st, 3,000 on the second, and over 2,000 words most of the days since. All of a sudden, yesterday and today I’m having a harder time with my story. I’m proud of the 15,000 words I’ve written so far (or, well, of having written 15,000 words) and at the same time 15k seems a long way from 50k. BUT! I will push through. 
  2. Ergonomics are important. I spent a bit too much time yesterday slouched over my laptop, using a table that was too low. My back is paying for it today. 
  3. Shutting down your inner editor is key… having an audience who likes your story is even better. I’m writing a fantasy novel about our pet rabbit, and my 8yo son asks me every day to read him what I’ve written. I’ve been looking at NaNoWriMo as a writing exercise, with little intention of doing anything with the product of my writing come December 1st. Having my kid be so into the story has me wondering if it might be worth going back later to edit and clean it up, perhaps looking into self-publishing (if nothing else then for the fun of having our own paper copy on a shelf). 
  4. I’m really glad I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year because writing my story and reading the constant discussions on the NaNoWriMo facebook group I’m in have proved great ways to distract myself from the election. This has done wonders for my sanity. 

Now to stop procrastinating and get back to writing…


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