Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Today is November 30th. It's the last day of Nanowrimo. I should be typing my 50,000th word sometime today, and uploading my novel for verification and that awesome sense of accomplishment completing something like Nano gives you.
Except, I'm not.
Because my final word count came in at a little over 15,000.
So, like Donna, I failed. I did not complete Nanowrimo.
But you know what? I think that's okay.
Because even though I didn't win, here's what I learned through Nanowrimo this past month:
--Nanowrimo isn't for everyone. And that's not to say that there are some people who have the willpower to do it and some who don't. I mean that it really isn't for everyone, because not everyone writes the same way. Some of us sit down and can write for hours. Can write 10,000 words in a day. And some of us can't. I've found, if I have literally NOTHING else to do in a day, I can write about 3,500 words in a day. And on an average day, I can write between 600 and 900 words. And I've learned that's okay.
--Nanowrimo isn't always healthy for your writing. I wrote about 15,000 words this month, which is the most I've written in a month in a really long time. But what I found happened is that I was so focused on the word count that I lost sight of my personal writing goals, my subplots, and a lot of logistics that needed to go into my story. For example, I was writing an escape scene. It needed a lot of different elements--a diversion, guards, a getaway, and a lot of different characters during different things at the same time. I wrote that scene during Nanowrimo. And then promptly realized that it didn't make much sense, because I'd been so obsessed with the words on the page that I forgot about everything else. I'm not going back to fix it just yet, but I know it's something that wouldn't have happened if I wasn't rushing.
--I think the most important thing that Nanowrimo taught me was how to make my writing more of a priority. This was the first month that I tried to write every day. I came home and didn't just flop onto the couch and get swallowed into Twitter or Facebook. I wrote almost every single day. Even if it was only 100 words, I wrote often. And that was great.
Maybe I'll try again next year. Hopefully by next November I'll be finished with my current project and it'll be the perfect time to throw caution to the wind and barrel out 50,000 words of something random and new. But until then, I think I'll keep plugging away, 100 words at a time.
How about all of you? Did you succeed? Did you fail? What did you learn from Nanowrimo?