NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is at an end. I’m sad to see it go because I love NaNoWriMo. I learned a few things from participating. Below is a list of the lessons I learned during my participation in National Novel Writing Month.
NaNoWriMo — Lessons Learned
- If I want to write my first drafts fast, I need to do some form of outline beforehand. If I don’t I will get stuck in my draft and then I usually stop writing that project. Yes, that’s the truth. I usually abandon writing projects because I get stuck. I’ve had many ideas for stories throughout my life, but because I’ve jumped right into them without some sort of planning, I’ve gotten stuck writing the first draft and then abandoned it completely. By planning beforehand I help myself to not get stuck while I write the first draft, and all of a sudden I have a first draft. Sure, it’s a crappy one, but I can always revise and edit it. At least I got a first draft, right?
- When I feel a sense of creative flow, I don’t limit myself to the outline I’ve done beforehand. Letting my creativity flow ends with me writing things I haven’t thought of before. Creative flow is just as much part of writing something as planning is, I believe. An outline, for me, is a guideline of how I can move from beginning to end in some sort of logical order. But there will come times when I feel like adding something that wasn’t in the outline, or removing something that was in the outline, or just developing something further than I thought while doing the outline. Like I said, spontaneity and creative flow is just as important in writing as an outline of a plan beforehand.
- It’s much more important to write than to try and compose the perfect sentence when writing the first draft. I don’t believe there is such a thing as the perfect sentence, so going after it and trying to compose one is just a waste of time — time that I could’ve spent writing a great scene with manageable flaws that I can deal with later in the revising and editing stage.
- I know that many writers have talked about the importance of having a deadline, but it’s important to be reminded of this once in a while. NaNoWriMo’s deadline of November 30 put some fuel to my fire. I can’t believe I got over 50.000 words written in a month, but I did. Aside from having the outline to thank for my progress, having a deadline was important too because it got me writing like crazy.
- I need coffee to write. Simple as that.