Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I've Learned from National Novel Writing Month- Day 10

Song of the Day: Hollywood by Michael Buble

      Hello all! It's only day 10, and already I've learned so much from National Novel Writing Month. I've compiled a list of what the experience has taught me, and what I really should have known all along.

1. You Have to Make Time to Write

   This has been preached to me by every writer I know, and in every article, blog post, or book about writing that I've ever read. Why did it take NanoWriMo for me to see the light? I would make excuses about not having enough time to write, which was a lie. I was doing what writers do best, procrastinating. The fact is that you can write a good amount of words in 10-15 minutes. I've learned this because I use every spare chance I can get to reach my word count goal for the day. I usually arrive early to work, and this morning I wrote 200 words in 15 min while I was waiting in the car.

2. Keep Writing

   It's okay, if you don't have a direction for your novel (or even short story). Keep Going. Just write something down on paper. You can go back and edit later. Before NanoWriMo, I would sit and stare at the screen of my computer for hours because I was stuck. That would usually result in me just closing my laptop and vowing to work on whatever it was later. Then I wouldn't go back to it because I still had no idea where it was going. That got me nowhere. Make something up and keep going. That's the beauty of fiction.

3. I should be Writing Like this Everyday

   Honestly, 1000-1500 words a day, is not that hard to accomplish. I once read a book by Carolyn See called, Making a Literary Life. I was still an undergraduate in college and just figuring out that I wanted to make a career out of writing. See advised that anyone who wanted to become a serious writer should write at least 1,000 words a day. I remember thinking at the time that a 1000 words was ridiculous. That number seemed so big to me. Now, I don't quite see it that way. Writing 1,000 words a day is necessary and completely within reach.

   It took National Novel Writing Month to really open my eyes (sad but true). And Thank God for it. Now to make up for all the time I've been wasting. At least I figured it out while I'm still in my twenties!


  1. Great post!

    I usually write about 1k-3k a day depending on how creativity I'm feeling.

  2. I have learned that I like writing in a group, even if some of it is virtual. I attended a write-in and just having others there doing the same thing you love felt great! I want to keep this feeling all year round.

  3. I'm not participating this year, but NaNoWriMo has taught me those same lessons.
    Making Life a Work of Art!

  4. Well said! I used to think that writing around 1500 words in one day was ridiculous. But once I get going, I'll look down at my word count and I get there faster than I thought I would. :) I've learned that I need to start prioritizing my writing. I know I want to make a career out of this, so I need to set aside time to hone my craft.

  5. Really good list---and all things that I have learned as well with this process. The most important I think is to just keep writing. Eventually something will hit you that you can run with later...and of course, making time to write is key. I will def. keep that part of NaNo with me forever ;)

  6. Yep. I write here there and everywhere, I need to start taking my laptop in the car because I end up with short scenes or bits of dialogue on random scraps of paper.

  7. Excellent tips! Making time to write is one of the hardest things for me. There's SO MUCH else that needs to be done. Good luck!

  8. Great, great post! It's all so true! This is why I do NaNoWriMo. It reignites me to write everyday, and not just write one or two words then give up, but to keep writing!
    You can't just sit and wait for inspiration to strike, you have to make it appear sometimes.

    Hope all is going well!