I thought I’d compile a brief list of the things I learned from NaNoWriMo2017 this year. Perhaps some of these observations will help others. I’d love to hear what you learned in the comments section. Link your own blogs if you’d like!
- Good days / bad days – some days were better than others. I didn’t write every single day between Nov and 1 and when I finished on the 23rd, but I did write for the majority of them and some days the words flowed easier than others.
- Just like in athletics, a warm-up is important. I found that the first few paragraphs or lines of dialog were rough, but I soon found a rhythm. Keeping at it is the key.
- I believe each person has a productive part of the day. And it is worth discovering. When I was in college, it was late nights. Now that I’m in my 40s I find that early mornings are my time. I begin to shut down creatively after around noon most days. It was important to use that creative time wisely when I could.
- Once you’re rolling, the words add up fast.
- Write for the plot line / characters that speak to you that day. Some days I just couldn’t get my mind engaged with one set of characters but I soon found that another set inspired me and were easy to write. Don’t fight it, work with what feels good.
- Scrivener rocks!
- Variety is the spice of life. I found myself wanting to work on other writing projects this month but just felt like I needed to dedicate the time to my NaNoWriMo project. Now that I’m done I’m excited to return to some other ideas that I’ve had.
- Twitter was a good source of encouragement as well as a significant distraction! It’s a very supportive community. See #nanowrimo2017
- Finish what ya started – one of my main personal goals this month was to commit to something and finish it. My primary goal was finishing NaNoWriMo (hitting the 50,000 word mark). My secondary goal was to jump start a WiP that’s been sitting around in my brain and in my house for years. I doubted that I would finish the first draft (and I didn’t) but that’s okay – I more than doubled its word count and am ready to take it to the next stage.
Winning NaNoWriMo was a great experience and I’ll be participating again next year, I’m sure. Maybe I’ll be working on Book 2 in the series!