Monday, December 1, 2008

The NaNoWriMo that wasn't

Welcome, December!

Yesterday was the official close of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I was a participant...up to a point. Instead of reaching the goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, I clocked in at a measly 5,000. I lost steam about half way through and never regained it. I was disappointed in myself to say the least; after all, I truly intended on going the distance. But all is not lost, and I've learned quite a bit in the process, such as:
  • The support I have for my writing is not just from family and friends but some unexpected sources like coworkers and other writers, and that's just outright awesome. (Thanks, guys!)
  • Jumping into NaNoWriMo without a fully outlined novel is like running the NY Marathon without training.
  • I cannot force myself to write. It needs to flow naturally, from a clear mind. Psyching myself out because I need to reach a word limit does not, in any way, make me a better writer, but...
  • Having a goal was the push I needed to stay focused. However...
  • I let my inner editor get the best of me and that's the first thing a writer should not do
I wonder at times if my so-called failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Until I decided to take the plunge, I held true to my belief that "I don't do novels." Still, I wrote. It may not have been a novel, but I wrote...and learned. As insignificant as it might seem to the outside world, it was an accomplishment, however small, and it pushed that wall down in my mind that said I couldn't (or shouldn't) do it. Baby steps.

So, in short, I am entering December with a new sense of growth. Maybe I'm not the winner of the NaNoWriMo word count, but I am coming out of November a wiser (and for that, better) writer. Thanks again to those of you out there who supported me on this journey.


Preston said...

If you are now a wiser and better writer, then you are definitely a winner! :)

Christine said...

Thanks :)