On Sunday I finished this year’s NaNoWriMo, winning the thing with 50,027 words. An awesome thing, especially considering that I had weddings and power outages getting in my way. I hadn’t attempted the challenge in a few years, and I’m glad I did, because it helped me learn a few things about me and my writing. Here’s a quick recap of what I figured out:
- I can write a ton in one day. In order to stay caught up, or get ahead to prepare for the days I would fall behind, I had quite a few big output days, nearly reaching 3,000 words on several of them. 3,000 words! I’ve mentioned before not knowing how to stretch beyond my regular limit, but now I know how far I can go when I push myself.
- I can write amongst people. I’m lucky in that I get a lot of time to myself, but that still wasn’t enough time to reach my regular writing quota. So, I had to do some typing in front of the television, with family around, figuring out how to scare the pants off my main character while other people watched football. It wasn’t that bad. I could even break to involve myself in conversation. Probably not the best environment if I’m having horrid writer’s block, and the writing slows down immensely, but good to know it is doable all the same.
- A lot of fiction writing pushes everything else out. Obviously I haven’t written much (at all) on this blog during November. And I have fallen behind on my reviews. When I finished with NaNo stuff, I either didn’t have the time, or the energy, to write anything else. It’s nice to know that my fiction can fill up my world so well, but I have to watch out for that when I take on other commitments.
- One story doesn’t kill another. I had been working on another novel before I began NaNoWriMo, and had managed to get a good ways through the first draft before November began. I had hoped to be able to write a little bit of it throughout the month, but as with the last realization, I never had the energy for it when I was done with my NaNo-ing. I worried that the story might die on me — but it’s still large in my head, I’m still excited to get back to it, to write it and finish it and see what it turns into. I may have to go back and reread parts (or type it up) to get back into the correct mindset, but now I know if I put some effort into it I can get a decent output for this month.
- I can write at any time. Morning is my thing. My brain is the correct level of awake to make it the best time to get the most writing done. But I can crank out words in the afternoon, sucking down coffee to silence the part of my body that wants to nap, and I can do it at night with a hockey game as vague background noise. Whenever I need to write, I can figure it out. (Well, maybe not when the dog decides to lay across my arms. That’s really difficult, actually.)
That was my NaNoWriMo! Did any of you participate? Did you win? What did you learn about yourself and your writing?