NaNoWriMo 2012: Lessons Learned

I have just lunged over the finish line at the 50,000 word mark for NaNoWriMo.   I might get a second wind, which would result in a victory lap of more words before midnight tomorrow night (11/30, deadline for the contest).  I am ecstatic, exhausted, proud, humbled, grateful and much more aware of my limitations and abilities.

Some lessons learned:

I can write a butt load of words in a relatively short amount of time when I want to. I don’t run out of words, really, ever.

If a particular patch of the story is hard to write, I can either write it anyway, even if it emerges in clunky, junky style.  Or I can shift focus and write another part of the story.  Either way I’m moving forward.

Sometimes writing the ugly junky words that come out of my brain sideways and feel rotten and wrong and make me hate all if it is a necessary part of the process.  By writing them, I clear them out of the way so I can get to the better words.

I can totally do this writer thing.Short stories are completely different beasts from novels. I can totally do them both. I have enough stories in my head to fill a lot of novels

My stories get impatient and greedy, they trip each other to get ahead and push the others out of the way.  Best to have a few documents open so they can all land on the right page.

It might take 28 straight days of writing globs of mostly unsatisfying dreck to finally reach the eureka moment when the true story emerges.  If I stop at day 10 or 27, I’ll never know.

I need to read more books of greater variety and watch more movies.  It’s a great way to break out of my default way of writing dialog and a great source of ideas for plot devices and conflict. I’m going to miss posting daily updates and getting encouragement from my friends.

I should get some books and do some learning on how to actually plot out a novel.

Though I can pull this off with very little (or no)planning, it would have been a lot easier and more fun if I’d done some.   Next time I will. Yeah, I did say next time.

My friends are awesome cheerleaders and my family is also super supportive as long as I let them know what I’m trying to accomplish. I have really smart friends with all kinds of experience that I can ruthlessly plunder for my own gain.

My brain comes up with goofy things to write when it’s sleep deprived.

There is no try, there is only do.

I love you…

I know.

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