Friday, November 29, 2013

NaNoWriMo

Tomorrow is the last day of the month, which means that it's the last day of the crazy experience known as NaNoWriMo.

I have to say that after years of not being sure if it was 'for me,' I'm really glad that I took the chance.  And here's a few things that I learned on the way:

1. Community makes a huge difference.  This is a lesson that I'm learning slowly, but it's really beginning to sink in.  (I know, I'm a slow learner.)  Between the offical NaNoWriMo group, the university group, and the library group, there were at least three write in's a week.  Unfortunately my work decided to schedule me for every single one of them, so I was only able to go to the first one, but I loved it!  Being able to converse with other writers and pick their brains is something I'd love to do throughout the year. 

2. Never Give Up.  November started on a Friday, and I got about 3,000 words written the first day.  Then I worked Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Saturday night, I got sick, and while I was working, I got much worse.  But the time I got to Tuesday, I still hadn't written anything else, and I was too sick to even sit up straight.  My first week's word count put me quite a bit behind, and at first I was discouraged.  But a late start doesn't mean that it's not possible.

3. Numbers aren't always important.  Now I know this may not make sense.  NaNoWriMo is all about word count.  But that really shouldn't be the focus.  The story is what's really important, and word count should never get in the way of realizing that.  I can't count the number of times that I was so excited about Rowell's adventure that I couldn't sleep.  I had days when I woke up early to keep writing.  Not because I wanted to get the word count down, but because I wanted to keep telling the story.

Now how about all of you?  What was your NaNoWriMo experience like?  What lessons have you learned?