Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Survived NaNoWriMo....and lived to tell the tale!

So, my poor little blog has gone unattended for the last month, but it was for a good reason. I'm happy to report that I struggled, I drank tea like mad, I shed tears of 12 font print, and as a result, I got this:

I thought I would take a moment to share what I learned throughout this last grueling month with any of you out there that are considering joining in for NaNoWriMo next year:

1- Getting over your own fears is the biggest obstacle. It's great to have an idea in mind but overwhelming when it comes to putting that idea into words. The things is, when you sit down and actually start to type (or hand write, if you want to go old school), there are times when the words just flow right out. It is an awesome feeling. (There are also days that you look at your work, have no clue where to go next, and wonder wtf to do, but once you get beyond those, it's a total rush to see your 'novel' come to fruition.)

2- Having friends makes all the difference. I had a few people around that encouraged the heck out of me and it was great. I have to give another big thanks to Melissa at My words and pages for our nightly sprints and her enthusiasm over my cockamamie story, as well as Mel at He Followed Me Home for being my biggest cheerleader and the nicest critic around ;)

3- The sprints help immensely. Melissa and I would set goals for 15 or 20 minutes, nothing too stressful, and wrote like crazy.(Melissa always beat me :) It helps to keep you moving because you spend less time thinking about how potentially silly whatever you are writing might come across. There's also a sense of camaraderie with other NaNo's when you get involved in the sprints on Twitter. You know everyone is probably in the same boat as you and you definitely feel less sequestered from reality.

4- Auntie MJ (aka Maureen Johnson) was a fantastic choice as the NaNo ambassador, with her daily helpful tips to keep NaNo's on track. I read every post religiously in an effort to keep my own spirit up. (Curious to see what she had to say? Check out her Tumblr posts here.)

In the end, I have 50,030 words, not enough for submissions or anything grandiose like that yet, but enough to call it a rough first draft...even just saying that makes me all giddy. And you know what else? I don't want to stop writing now! (I'm even sitting here hammering out this post with less effort that usual.) I think this is a great outcome. So, if you've ever even considered it, I say DO IT!

And now we return to the usual business of book reviews....


Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

*throws confetti*** Congrats girl & to think this is just the start to something big ;)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Yeah!! Did you see the fireworks? I did... or maybe that was my computer screen on the fritz from all the sprints and use... ;D

lol. It was a blast! And I have to say if it wasn't for you and Mel I don't know how far I would have gotten in the beginning. :) You are so welcome and Thank you!

Karen said...


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on being named the NaNoWriMo winner. It seems to me that novels, or at least the vast majority of a novel, have already been written inside of us. Writing is the act of taking what was already inside your mind and making it real which is what leads to that flow. It sounds like your support system did a great job.

from Cynthia Miles at Split-Site PhD

Helen Keyes said...

Thank you for sharing your experience in writing. I try to start a story, but it's difficult to finish.

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