Writing & Publishing

Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo

writing inkAfter completing NaNoWriMo I feel like a whole new person.

I have regained my passion for writing.

I found my voice.

I have confidence in my writing; I’m not afraid of the page anymore.

Everyday I feel compelled to write and I’m excited to do it.

I was super nervous to try NaNoWriMo. It took me weeks to make the decision to commit. Besides the fact that 50 thousand words is a LOT to write in a month, I was more nervous about not having anything to say. I was afraid of sitting at my computer staring at the blank page for hours and the impending self-doubt and feelings of failure that would follow.

But I took the plunge.

I strapped on my boots and I tried to write 2,000 words a night. Sometimes I exceeded it and sometimes I didn’t quite get there.

But I was ok with that. The feeling of accomplishment I got after just getting the words out and pouring the story into the computer trumped any guilt from not meeting the word count goal. I realized after I started that for me, it wasn’t about meeting the word count.

It was about writing. keep calm write on

Just sitting down and writing. Powering through everything, not letting myself go back and read over it, not letting myself stop for hours and days on end trying to come up with “better” prose.

Write. Keep the story moving forward. Those were my goals.

And I did that. I’m still doing that.

I was worried that participating in NaNo would stress me out and make me a miserable, downer once I ran out of writing steam and became stuck. I warned my closest friends not to take it personally if I snapped at them or was a douche, and gave them permission to shoot me with Nerf guns if I acted that way.

They never had to.

“You were worried about being stressed out during November,” my best friend told me during the last week. “But I think you’ve actually been happier.”

I am happier. Coming home to write everyday has given me a sense of direction and accomplishment. Not to mention it’s really therapeutic to bash zombies after a hard day at the office.

The biggest lesson that I learned during NaNoWriMo is “Writer’s write.”

That is to say, just keep writing. Don’t worry if someone is going to read it, don’t worry if it sucks and don’t worry if it’s spectacular. Don’t even worry if it makes any sense!

Just write.

By midnight on December 1st, my word count topped out at a little over 35 thousand words.

But I didn’t lose.

I won.

Thank you to everyone who supported me during National Novel Writing Month. Your “likes”, your comments, and your readership was the biggest motivator for me during November. I really couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you. I appreciate you more than you know!

As always,

Thanks for reading! =)

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