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Four things I learned from NaNoWriMo 2013

This month, I wrote a novel. In thirty days, a 50,000+ word novel. I remembering texting my friend and saying, “I just wrote a novel. A real novel! ” I was lost for words. After a month of writing and emerging one self into a fictional land, now I’m a writer stuck for words?

Here are my top four things I learned this month from participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time;

Trust, Networking, Motivation, Optimism and Going with the flow.

(If you’re not sure what NaNoWriMo is – it’s an acronym that stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month’ that challenges writers to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. You can check out their website; http://nanowrimo.org for more information)

1.  Trust. I used to be a self-conscious writer. I never really believed in my writing and I was always second-guessing everything that I wrote. It got to the point where I was to busy fussing over it, that my writing ended up being raw and dry just like I feared. I learned how to trust my voice, my instinct, and most importantly, me.

2.  Motivation. Throughout the month of November there were times that I just didn’t want to write and through these times, I learned how to motivate myself. (and having NaNoWriMo’s pep talks helped to!) I figured out that if I can just force myself to sit down and flip open that notebook of mine or turn on my laptop, I would be set and full of writing juice. I just had to remind myself how badly I wanted to write this novel.

 3.  Networking – The lone writer? That’s me, or was me! This month I learned how to connect with people on a larger scale. Through twitter, this blog and with other members on the NaNoWriMo website. I was able to connect with other writers, agents, and readers. Along with learning what networking really means. 

4.  Optimism & Going with the flow – I’d like to think that I’m an easygoing person when it comes to life, and I am…except for when things go wrong. About after the tenth time I miss spelled the same word and lost sight of what I was even trying to write, I was about to burn all my papers to ash in a fit of pure fury. – But after taking a deep breath, and sipping on a great cup of tea, I learned how to go with the flow, and how to be optimistic about what I was working with, on the page and in life.

 So, a big thanks to everybody at the NaNoWriMo offices and everyone whose been supporting me through twitter and on my blog! I really appreciate it. 

I learned a lot from being able to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year, from how to write a novel in thirty days to believing in yourself. This experience is something that I will carry with me always.

Wishing you all a fantastic December!

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17 thoughts on “Four things I learned from NaNoWriMo 2013

  1. Congratulations on winning NaNoWriMo. That is a huge achievement. You made some very good points in your post.

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  3. Well done, Alecia. I’ve planned to do this for the last three years, but it’s not been possible with work commitments. Not sure I’d have the stamina, but it sounds as though the support is fantastic. Good luck with that novel.

  4. I take my hat off to anyone who completes or even attempts NaNoWriMo. I wrote regularly for a year on my book but didn’t write 50,000 words. And now I’ve just finished an unofficial NaNoBloMo in January. A great experience. Anything that intense changes you.
    An amazing achievement you made. Well done! CC

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