Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What I Learned from NaNoWriMo

Okay, I've had a couple of days away from it, so I think I can write about it. Hurrah for Dec 3! :)

National Novel Writing Month was intense for me for many reasons, and many of those reasons were writing-related without being NaNo-related.

First, I learned that I'm not superwoman (even if I want to be). I can't do everything. I'm grateful I'm not taking more classes this semester, because nothing would have gotten accomplished if I were.

Second, I leaned a lot about writing. I have a much deeper appreciation for an outline now (which I might not have realized without seeing Lynda's post). I was so anxious to start writing for NaNo in October that I had to do something, so I outlined and character sketched. Amazing things about my story and about my characters came to light through that process. And without that outline, in my situation only superwoman (see #1 above) could have finished with 50K by Nov 30.

Third, I learned that it's okay to give up. I know. I did make it to 50K, but if you look at my NaNo stats, there was over a week of inactivity once I reached about 12K. I had other projects for school that took a lot of time (see my end-of-November posts on "Never Truly Gone"), and I had to tell myself it was okay not to finish the NaNo novel. In fact, it wasn't until I reached 40K that I honestly thought I would make it. If I hadn't given myself permission to not win I probably would have been so wrapped up in my own personal anxiety-hell that I wouldn't have reached 25K.

Fourth, I learned I'm not a writing multi-tasker. Oh, man. When I have to juggle three different traditional stories and one graphic-novel-like project, I can't think about more than one at a time. And that's okay. I don't see myself in this position again (too often) when I have to think about all of them on one day. Granted, I could work on story A on Monday and story B on Tuesday and that would probably be okay, but when I have drafts of three different stories open on my computer at once, it's probably too much. Hopefully I won't have to do that again.

Finally, I realized that I can do this. Maybe I won't be the next writing superstar, but I have something in my head that needs to reach wider audiences. And I WANT to write. And I love it, despite all the hard work. And while editing isn't exactly my idea of fun evening in, I like that, too. I'm ready to take on the challenge of the industry and move from being a writer to an author.


Jan Morrison said...

well worth the trip through craziness then! lots of learning and a big chunk of a manuscript. And I love that you tricked yourself into finishing. Hurrah!

Creepy Query Girl said...

sounds like a really great learning experience. You're braver than I am! congrats on finishing!

Hart Johnson said...

I think it's amazing you made it with all that going on! I'm not really a multi-task writer either. I can write on maybe two if they are really different, but I CAN'T for instance, write and edit unless the writing is totally silly, let-loose stuff. Great lessons to have learned and FABULOUS to get that 'I CAN!' thing!

RosieC said...

Jan, I was most definitely worth the craziness. I'm glad I had the chance to do it and had the chance to trick myself, too :)

CQG, thanks. I don't think it has anything to do with bravery, though. Stupid hubris, maybe :)

Hart, it was tough. I admit it. I'm glad I've had the experience, though, despite the hectic nature of it. The "I can" has been a wonderful lesson. I'm glad I've put myself through all of this!

Lynda Young said...

Massive congrats to you (I think I've already congratulated you but I had to do it again). NaNo was a brilliant experience.

Anonymous said...

Kudos on finishing! Now you get the pretty crown over your name...I will look at it in envy :p

Carol Riggs said...

Whaaaat? You're not Superwoman? I am SO disillusioned. Sniff.

Yay for outlining! And good for you for making that last leap into lightspeed, to finish your NaNo. ;o)

Um, yeah, can relate, girl. I am also NOT a multi-tasker. My idea of that, pushing my limits, is reading a novel sometime during the months while I'm working on my WIP.

DEZMOND said...

I'm not really sure why don't people simply write all year around instead of pushing themselves silly during a single month (which is also full of holiday obligations and similar).

RosieC said...

Lynda, thanks. It was great fun.

Erica, the pretty crown is for donating to OLL. Thanks.

Carol, haha! You knew I wasn't superwoman! We can be anti-multitaskers together :)

Dez, I don't know about everyone else, but I do write all year, and all the time. This was the first time I tried NaNo just to see if I could. Granted, I knew I could since I once wrote 50K in about 7 days (PURE CRAP, but nonetheless). Honestly, I did it because it seemed like fun and a nice time to push myself... which I later realized was a horrible time to push myself. I don't know if I'll do it again, but I can at least say I did it once successfully.

Anonymous said...

Ooops, I thought it went over your name on the NaNo site once you hit 50,000. My bad :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on reaching 50K. I'd like to do Nano some day to challenge myself.

RosieC said...

Hey Erica, no worries! I love the little crown.

Medeia, Thanks. It was a great experience.

RaShelle said...

Hi Rosie - I love an outline. Can't live without one. It's funny though. I'd looked over mine soooo many times BEFORE NaNo, I didn't have to refer to it once. I found that freaky in the coolest way. So glad you finished and thanks for your comments. I've still got to send you an e-mail. =D

RosieC said...

That's awesome, RaShelle. I was using Scrivener, so my outline was kind of with me at all times, and I definitely needed it. Congrats on NaNo, too.

Related Posts with Thumbnails