It has been 9 days and I’m still going strong. Currently, I am at 16,744 words, which is a little more than a third of the way through! It has been fun and a very eye-opening experience. And I have learned quite a bit from this. I am surprised at how well it is going so far.
1. Writing is more important than anything. Just keep writing. I have written some wonderful rubbish. I know that this novel will need a TON of rewriting and revising before it even resembles something that I would be willing to show to anybody, but it is getting written. When I started I had a main character in mind, a side character and a general plot device. As I have written I have had to make things up as I went along. Some things have surprised me, others have disgusted me (just with how terribly I wrote it). But it has moved the story along. I have discovered things about my character, found new plot devices as I sat and forced myself to write. Just writing has forced the story forward where I would have been bogged down for months, if not forever, trying to fix broken things.
2. Be open to anything. This is related to the last point, but don’t be surprised at the fun little twists and turns that your novel takes. Staring at the blank page, knowing that I had to get my word count for the day, I just started writing, describing something I thought was meaningless and would be edited out of a later draft. But it gave me very interesting insight into my main character, I started developing a back story for her, finding out about her family background. Words that I thought were fluff, filler, have turned out to be important to this character’s development.
3. Don’t give up if the word count is low. I have been lucky, I guess. I have been able to write the daily 1667 words and then some. My average words per day is 1861, and that in between class and work and theatre. I have been utterly surprised at how I have been able to squeeze my words in. I have yet to sit down, putting all other distractions aside, to write. I have not yet participated in any Writing Spurts. I have been able to write a few words here, a few sentences there, watching my word count slowly rise throughout the day until – surprise, surprise -I hit goal for the day. What’s that old saying? Slow and Steady? Yeah, bursts of writing are great, having time to sit and compose would be wonderful, sometimes I write a sentence and come back to it to continue later, and I don’t know where I was going with that paragraph. But, if that is not possible, just write what you can, when you can. It can work trust me.
NaNoWriMo is slowly taking over my life, it’s what I think about during class, breaking out my laptop to “take notes” and work on my novel, it’s what I think about when I have free moment, fleshing out my plots and characters. I update my word count on the NaNoWriMo site several times a day, just to watch that lovely graph change. I would only encourage any one who wants to write to write. This is a wonderful opportunity to get that novel written that you always wanted to write, prove to yourself that you can do what you want.
In the words of a podcast that I love listening to, Writing Excuses, “You’re out of excuses, now go write!”