So, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started on Sunday last week. All of you are probably too busy writing until your fingers bleed (or something a little less dramatic) than to read this, but I thought I would publish a blogpost a week concerning NaNoWriMo. The posts won’t be long, just a short list of what I’ve learned during the week while participation in NaNoWriMo. These blogposts will surely be filled with highs and lows, but that’s just a part of a creative process, right?
Anyway, here is a list of what I learned this week — and other general thoughts!
NaNoWriMo — Lessons Learned
- For the first time in years, I wrote during a Sunday just to get a good start on NaNoWriMo. Usually the weekends are holy to me — which means no work and a whole lot of family time — but having the advantage of those 3,216 written words that I wrote during a couple of hours on Sunday will (most likely) help my subsiding word-count at the end of NaNoWriMo.
- I revel in the fact that I was prepared for this crazy writing-fest. I’d already decided, in advance, which books I would write during NaNoWriMo (I write short non-fiction books for The Busy Author’s Guide-series, so I will write many to reach the 50,000 word-goal). The little preparation I did — a short outline of notes for each chapter of each book, nothing fancy, really — has already kept me from staring at a blank screen. And during NaNoWriMo, staring at a blank screen would be a disaster. I think NaNoWriMo is a great example of how important it is to have some form of outline before beginning a writing project.
- Writing is much more important now than figuring out the perfect sentences (and, to be honest, I don’t think there is such a thing as the perfect sentence). I don’t care if a quarter of my page is filled with red markings signaling the misspelled words. I don’t care if just as much of my page is filled with green markings telling me that my grammar sucks. I just ignore them because I know it’s about writing right now. I can always edit after NaNoWriMo (and I really, really should), but right now it’s about that crappy, 50,000 word long first draft.
- Oh, and it’s better to have a huge thermos of coffee on my desk. Running back and forth between the desk and kitchen to make more coffee is a waste of time and a tedious interruption in the middle of writing. So, note to self: buy a thermos!