What NaNoWriMo Taught Me- Faith Blum

As of this writing, I am in the middle of NaNoWriMo. It is November 15th and I have learned a lot about myself the last 15 days. First, I should tell you some background. This is my first year doing NaNo. I’ve always wanted to do it, but always came up with excuses. Mainly because there are three family birthdays, Thanksgiving, and other various things, not to mention my part-time job to contend with.

But I kept hearing friends of mine talk about how they are doing NaNo despite working three jobs or doing in despite all the excuses they could use. So, I decided to try it. My main goal was to rewrite one short story which would be less than 20,000 words and at least get a good start on finishing another short story I started a while back. Both of them are now finished. The short story rewrite is 16,512 words and the other short story is 15,029 (I didn’t write all of that during NaNo). My total word count as of this writing is 30,968.

Originally, I was going to be happy if I finished those two short stories by the end of November. Now, my goal has changed to reaching 50,000 and getting started on my next novel.

As I said, I have learned a lot about myself the last 2 weeks. The first thing I learned is that I really can write 1,500+ words everyday if I put my mind to it and don’t get distracted by other things (read: Facebook; that place is evil). If I go to bed early enough and get out of bed when my alarm goes off, I can sometimes even write more than 1,500+ words. Like the day I wrote over 4,300 words.

Another thing I learned is that I am a competitive person. I kind of already knew that, but this showed me that I am really competitive. If other people are writing with me, I want to at least keep up with them.

The best thing I learned is that if I put my mind to it, I really can write 30,000+ words in 15 days and even edit a different novel and still do things around the house that I am supposed to do and interact with my family. One birthday is out of the way and two more plus Thanksgiving are still coming up, so we’ll see how the end of the month goes.

Tips for this rest of this year and next year

1. Have a plan for what you are going to write for NaNo

2. Outline. Even if it is just a synopsis of what you want to write, outline it so you have some idea where you are going with your story.

3. If you get stuck, don’t force the words. Have an idea for a scene further along in the story? Write that one instead and come back to the other scene later. It works. I did it.

4. Ignore all (or most) of the many, many, many messages you get from the NaNo organization. Unless you actually find them helpful. I have yet to find one that is.

5. Interact with some of your writing buddies. I met someone new on NaNo this year and she has been a big encouragement to me during my writing and I hope I have done the same for her.

6. If you outline well, you don’t necessarily need to pad your novel with useless words. Maybe I’m just strange this way, or perhaps it is because I’m not doing an actual novel yet, but I have yet to actually have to add something to a story just to get to the word count I have.

7. Have fun! Don’t stress about getting 1,667 words every day. Some days you will only be able to do 500 and that is okay. Some days might be even less. But then you will have another day when you might be able to get 5,000 words written. Don’t worry about it. Worry never got anybody anything except more gray hairs. If your project isn’t working out, try another one. Writer never have a lack for ideas anyway, right? 😉

Conclusion

Whatever you do, have fun. Don’t worry. And above all, WRITE!

About the Author

Faith with Rikki-croppedAn avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, being a Captain on the Holy Worlds Historical Fiction Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?).

To learn more about Faith’s writing projects, go to her website: http://www.FaithBlum.com.


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