Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NaNoWriMo Update

I'm a bit behind on my NaNoWriMo word count. Okay, I'm really behind, but I'm learning quite a few things.

Lesson #1: Novel writing is harder than I thought (not that I thought it was a walk through a park). Though I am, for the most part, an intuitive writer (meaning I just sit down and write what's in my head), I may benefit from an outline. This takes me back to a fifth grade project where I had to write a required outline for my report on President Andrew Jackson (I think I used the entire eraser on my erasable pen). I couldn't wait to finish the outline so that I could write the paper. Now, as I write my novel, I'm wishing I had taken the time to complete an outline. There's got to be a balance there somewhere.

Lesson #2: At this particular point in my life, a full-length novel may not be my path. Novel writing takes a lot of focus, at least for me. I'm also focused on my family and the many facets of our life. I have a habit of thinking I can do everything, but then really end up doing nothing well. I'm beginning to think devotionals, articles and short stories may be the way for me to go.

Lesson #3: It is possible to dial back my internal editor. One of the purposes of NaNoWriMo is to have writers put their words to paper without editing. Whenever I get the strong urge to go back and edit a scene I have to tell, or at times yell, to myself "I don't care - just write!" This is a huge step for a former tech writer whose internal editor was continually turned on to high.

These are the things I've learned about myself so far. I'm not sure if I will make my word count for the contest, but I'm still trying. Even if I don't meet the word count, I'm still glad I accepted the challenge. It has been an eye-opening experience for me.

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