{Miscellaneous Mondays} 5 Things NaNoWriMo 2015 Taught Me

A week ago, NaNoWriMo ended, and dear me no, I didn’t win. But that’s okay. Even though I technically lost, it was still a success. For starters, I wrote a little over 27K, which means I passed the halfway mark and wrote more than the required amount each day. Plus, that’s twenty-seven thousand words added to my book! And second, NaNo taught (and re-taught me) several important lessons, all of which were well worth the experience.

nanowrimo-word-cloud

1. Creativity multiplies. Once I began writing for NaNo, I started getting ideas for other writing projects. The day after I started, I was constantly jotting down notes for new or unfinished stories that were completely unrelated to my NaNo novel. I found that once I got those creative juices flowing, every area of my writing life exploded. The more creative you are, the more ideas you get.

2. Writing 1,667 words a day is a lot easier and faster than I expected. I was pretty confident when I started that I wouldn’t even be able to reach the 25K mark, because how could I write 1,667 words a day with my busy life? However, the words flowed out much more easily than I expected, and I was able to get out about 2K per hour. For those of you who are certain you simply don’t have the time for NaNo, I’m here to tell you that it may just be easier than you think. Sure, it does require dedication and a willingness to make time, but it’s not impossible.

true, dat
true, dat

3. Don’t research on the first draft. Before NaNo, whenever I’d get to a scene that required information I wasn’t sure of, I’d google it, waste time on the internet, and end up not writing the scene for fear I’d get it wrong. With NaNo, however, you can’t do that. You have to simply write. There’s no time to research. Some writers may disagree, and everyone has their own method, but for me, I’ve learned that researching on the first draft is a waste of time. Just get the story out, inaccuracies and all. Then research and edit like crazy. After all, if you don’t get the story written, the research will be for nothing.

4. Word wars and communities are everything. This is one of the lessons I re-learned. I’m pretty sure I realize this again every November. My writing friends, writing Hangouts group, and all those word wars kept me going, and to them I attribute much of my success. Knowing that there are others going through the same thing and cheering you on is immensely motivating. And word wars? They’re pure magic, folks. Something about them just makes me type faster.

5. It’s okay to fail. So, yes, I succeeded, according to my standards and goals. But no, I didn’t “win” NaNo. And guess what? That’s okay. I’ve already blogged about this, but it’s worth repeating: Don’t not do NaNo because you won’t be able to win. First off, you may surprise yourself. You’ll never know until you try. Second, whatever words you do write for NaNo make it a success, and whatever lessons you learn about writing, your book, or yourself make it worth it a thousand times over.

In conclusion: Do NaNoWriMo. To quote Nike:

nikejustdoit

You won’t regret it.

Have you discovered some of these same things? For those who participated this year, how did it go for you? Did you learn anything? 

{Special note: I reached 200 WP followers last week—I’m currently at 202 WP followers and 218 in all. Thank you so much, dear followers! Every follow, like, and comment makes my day. You inspire me and give me motivation to write. I appreciate every one of you. Thanks for joining me in this adventure. Be brave!}

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