As previously mentioned, this is my first time participating in NaNoWriMo, the month long writing challenge.
Here are a few things I’ve learned so far:
– Even with the pressure of a ticking clock, it can be hard to start the story. I learned not to beat myself up about the word count on day one, and just let the story come at its own pace. Once I got a solid start, it was easier to continue writing. I made up the words on day two.
– Stats make everything better. Seeing my word count trickle in every day, and having that graph telling me how far I’ve gotten, and which date I’ll finish on if I continue in the same pace, is genius.
– Rewards are important. The ticking clock and the accountability of a website are great ways to get you going, but sometimes it’s nice to have some carrot with that stick. I got to see the original Psycho at the cinema once I hit 10000 words. It was amazing.
– Friends are more important still. I’m always a fan of twitter, but for the past week, I’ve fallen in love with the 140 character community. Plugging in and seeing little messages asking me how it’s going, or telling me that I can do it, or that they’re there with me, is a tremendous help. Seriously, check out #NaNoWriMo on twitter.
-There’s a certain freedom in not having time to edit. I’m a slow writer. It took me three months to write 20K on my novella. In the past week, I’ve written 11K. In one week. For me, that’s close to impossible. I don’t know how much editing will go into this manuscript once November is over, but letting the story flow without worrying too much about sentence structure or getting all the hints in just right is not only liberating, it’s downright fun. I’ve let go of the reins and I’m watching my characters go wild. And I’m loving every minute of it.
What have you learned from NaNoWriMo so far? How is it going for you?