Saturday, December 05, 2009

NaNo 2009: Lessons Learned

Well, NaNo has come and gone. I didn't make it to 50K, but it was a worthwhile attempt for me even at ca. 17K. I managed to write a hefty (for me) chunk anyhow, one that gives me a good start on a potential novel, and I plan to keep on plugging away at it. If nothing else, it will give me the opportunity to improve my writing as I slog my way through the story.

Things I've realized as a result of this intensive (!) attempt at writing:

  • Discipline: The key to reaching the goal is discipline. You can have the best plan on the books, but unless you have the discipline to carry it out, fuggedaboudit. In this particular case, that translates to writing daily and achieving your word count goal for that day.

  • Don't worry about perfection: As I read on another author's website, the writer's "enemy" is not the badly written page, but rather the blank page. If you have something scribbled down on the page, at least that gives you something to work with. On the other hand, a clean, white sheet stares back at you, mocking you and defying you to sully it with letters and words. Before you know it, your mind is as blank as that page, and creativity is out the window. Just start writing. Get the big picture, and flesh out the details later.

So, these are the two lessons I need most to practice; hopefully by the time next November rolls around, they will have become second nature to me.

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