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!