This year (2013) was my first year attempting National Novel Writing Month, shortened to #NaNoWriMo. I am ecstatically happy to report that it was a success. I will be editing the book through December and January and will have it available hopefully at the end of January.
Here are some of the best lessons and reflections while writing.
1. Stick to the schedule of 1,700 words a day, but don’t beat yourself up if you skip a day. I skipped a total of 9 days. It was fun having a larger word count to write some days. It mixed things up.
2. No editing. No review. No changes.
3. Following lesson two. Keep writing forward. How you ask?
4. Remember that you can do absolutely anything. I was riding in a car looking at the scenery and saw a park. I thought to myself “my main character should go to a park.” My main character never did, but I realized I could do anything I wanted.
5. Go at it with the goal of surprising yourself. I didn’t plan to share the novel with anyone or sell it on Amazon, but I will because I surprised myself with how good I think it is.
6. When you’re sticking to the schedule of 1,700 words. Stick it out in one sitting.
7. Keep your fingers on the keyboard as often as possible. Don’t sit back to think, don’t drink water to think, keep your fingers on the keyboard and think. Each time you lift your fingers off the keyboard, you’re disconnecting yourself from the story.
8. It never gets easier. You will have your spurts of incredible writing sprees and inspiration, but each day that you sit down to write, you’re essentially starting over. I laughed each time I would check off my writing on the calendar because each day is the shape of a square. “Tomorrow I’m back to square one.”
10. Do NOT talk about your story while writing it. I don’t care who is asking or why they want to know. I don’t care how good you think your story is or how many people are asking to hear about your story. I don’t care if you’re being bribed or blackmailed. Do NOT talk about your story while writing it. Just to set it in stone for you, I’m going to repeat myself a third time. DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR STORY WHILE WRITING IT.
Stay Positive & Next Year, Do It All Again
Garth E. Beyer