Ten Things I’ve Learned So Far from My First Try at NaNoWriMo

In honor of the ides of November and the halfway point, here’s a list of things I’ve learned so far from my first try at NaNo-ing:

  1. Fifty-thousand words is a lot of friggin’ words.  Just sayin’.
  2. The pesky “to be” verb family and I should just go ahead and get married since apparently we are having a love affair that knows no boundaries.
  3. If I do number 2, my lover The Comma will have to be my sister wife, because, I, love, The Comma, too, and, can’t, give, it, up.
  4. Nine o’clock at night is not the ideal time to start writing when you wake up at 5:30 a.m.
  5. I didn’t know that characters could be 25,000 words in and then suddenly want to drop you and start doing a square dance, do si do’ing and promenading in circles with no direction whatsoever.
  6. Can I vent for a second?  WHY NOVEMBER, NaNo Powers that Be?  It’s a short month.  It’s a holiday month.  It’s a Prime Time no reruns television month.  I move to change NaNo month to January.  Anyone second that motion?
  7. NaNo makes me really miss my comfort zone of blogging.  So fun, so welcoming, so comfortable!  In case you can’t tell, this blog, as well as any other original posts I’ve managed to put up this month, is for purposes of procrastination only.  Right now I should be dragging my characters out of their square dance and back into some sort of story.  But here I am . . .
  8. NaNo-ing is fun.  Really, it is.  I motivate myself by focusing on the end product.  I tell myself that I will have a very, very crappy novel finished in two more weeks.  Crappy words I can work with– or pay someone else to work with.  Blank documents aren’t much fun.
  9. I’m drafting with Scrivener, which is fine, but I’m not using one percent of the features the program has to offer.  I thought I’d be all about the index cards, but I haven’t used them at all.  I think I’ll go back to Word or Pages for my next project.  (Next Project???  What???)
  10. NaNo has taught me that I’m not really a good writer.  It’s hard.  Still, I enjoy it.  I absolutely, positively, would be able to do this for a living, all day, everyday, if I were any good at it whatsoever.  (P.S. Notice the cameo appearance of future spouse “to be” in that sentence as well as my overuse of my sister wife comma?)

Have a great night!

15 Comments

  1. LOL I love this! I’ve always wanted to do it, but November is such a busy month! I also vote to move it to January! But then I guess it would sound weird – NaJo!! One needs something to look forward to after the holidays! P.S. I agree–it’s hard to get up at 5.30am and yet cram everything you need to do after work. Ellie

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  2. I’m with you on your future plural marriage. They are one crazy couple! I hide my to-be’s in contractions so when one character was unable to use contractions I realized how pervasive those habits were. Commas, too. I think they’re a grammatical way to have a full conversation in one sentence.

    I do know this: you are an excellent writer working in unfamiliar territory. You’re a 10K runner running a marathon. It requires the same skill set, tweaked differently. You have the skill set and you’re learning the tweaks.

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  3. I have taken some peeks about this and it sounds a bit hair raising. Just setting out to write a novel spur of the moment sounds like entering a marathon without training. I guess though, it gets one into the habit of writing like it is your profession and not like something you want to be. Being thrown into the deep end so to speak.

    Let us know what you think after this month is over. I am curious.

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  4. It IS amazing what one will do to a character to get those 50k words. I’ve thrown mine of ships, had them beaten by Russian thugs, and had spontaneous wrestling matches in the kitchens of quaint B&B’s. .. the comma is under appreciated.

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  5. I can’t remember the author’s name right now—and i am too lazy to google (now that is lazy!) but i read an interview of the author of Gone Girl (and all those other great novels) and she had a really great point about the difficulty of writing. She said that there would be a lot more great writers if people didn’t give up when the writing got hard. (I have not yet risen to the challenge —- but I have faith in you.) You are a great writer — but you might be more comfortable with the moniker “great writer to be”

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  6. Another great place to procrastinate is on the “NaNo ate my soul” message board on their site.
    I’m a full week behind on my novel. But, sitting here, trying to gear up to write 25000 in a week. Not sure if that will happen! Good luck! You can divorce “to be or not to be” in the re-write anyway. 🙂

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