Over the past few years, many of my writer friends have participated in a chaotic month of writing called National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short. The idea is to jump start a writer’s novel by writing 50,000 words in 30 days. Yes that is right, Write a novel in a month.
Now, I’ve participated in it before. The last two years I put down 30,000 and 15,000 respectively. I didn’t “win”, but I learned some valuable lessons.
Writing takes time. The more time you can devote to it, the better you will become.
Persistence will earn you something. In my case, half a novel with lots of room to expand.
Ideas are everywhere. There is no reason for not being able to write.
I also learned some other things:
1,700 words a day kills my wrists. – the toll of my spending so much time on the keyboard left me with sore wrists and having to sleep with a brace on my right wrist. (and yes I still do)
It takes me about 2 hours — when I’m in the grove– to write that many words. Sometimes it does take less, but most of the time more.
I don’t write well first thing in the morning even with coffee.
I decided a month ago not to do NaNo. I’m sticking with that decision. However, I am compromising a bit. My goal for November is to submit at least 5 stories, write another 3 and get caught up on my reading.
Oh and most importantly cheer on my friends as they write 2,000 words a day until the end of the month.