Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Week 1 - What I've Learned So Far

This is my first year joining NaNoWriMo. In just the first week, I've already learned quite a few things!

1 - I can write more than I thought. I didn't think I would be able to manage the time necessary to write 1,667 words a day, but on most days so far, I've written even more than that.

2 - If I want to do something, I have to make it a priority in my life. After years of "wanting" to write but saying that I couldn't find the time, I am finally writing! All it took was for me to decide that I was going to spend a certain amount of time writing every day and then sticking to it.

3 - I can write well. I often lack confidence in my writing, and I have let that lack of confidence hold me back for a long time now. But in reading over what I've written so far, I can see that I do have a bit of a gift. Don't get me wrong; most of what I've written is rubbish. But there are enough gems of writing there to make the story workable if I decide to go back and edit it later. And the story itself is interesting and captivating.

4 - If I stop making excuses, I get more done. Before NaNoWriMo,I was always making excuses for not writing. The thing about NaNoWriMo is that there are no excuses. Either I finish it or I don't. And without the excuses, I'm getting a lot of writing done.

5 - Competition is a great motivator. This is true even if the competition is only with myself. But it's even better when I'm competing against others. I have a buddy list at NaNoWriMo, and while I want everyone on my list to succeed and I am ever-so-happy when they achieve their targeted word counts, I find myself checking their total word counts to see how I am faring against them. If they are ahead, it gives me a little push to write more.

So let's hear it. What have you learned from National Novel Writing Month so far?

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