Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More lessons from NaNoWriMo

As you can see by the progress bar at the top of the page, I've officially reached the halfway point in my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) goal of writing a 50,000 word novel. I've learned a few more things about writing during these first couple of weeks:
  1. It really helps to have some quite "thinking" time before you get started writing. I've tried starting each day by taking my pretty journal book and making notes before I get started. It gets me set up for what I want to write, and gets me in the mood as well. It also invariably attracts the cat, since I sit in the front room which rarely gets used otherwise.
  2. It is possible to write 2000 words a day and also work on assignments. It's a lot easier when the assignments are copyediting (ie fact-checking and review) instead of original writing, because it's two different types of thinking and it's a relief when I give up on the business articles and get back to my novel.
  3. I'm loving my whole "encyclopedia article" structure, because I just make my list of words and write. Not having to think about plot (except during early morning thinking time) sure makes the writing a lot easier.
  4. One can fit in writing while one is sitting outside watching kids practice the marching band show, or inside waiting for them to finally get ready for bed to turn lights out. It's not easy, but it is possible. One must avoid skipping ahead, though; although this is usually a great technique to avoid writer's block, if one is extremely busy one tends to forget to go back and fill in the holes.
  5. One cannot fit in writing when one is sleep deprived. Actually, you might manage to fit it in, but you'll just end up staring at the screen as the cursor blinks hypnotically and your nose ends up typing "hjkjhkjhjkhjkhjkghjkhjkjhkh" when your head hits the keyboard.
I've gotten a bit behind my target of 2K a Day, but I'm close to the average of 1667 words a day, and hope to get further ahead as we get to the end of the month. I'm almost done with the "M" section (letter 13 of 26), but I figure "O" and "Q" will only be half-sections, so I'm still making progress. We'll see if I last with Thanksgiving coming up; I hear there are already pies to be eaten.

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