You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted in 31 days. This is because I WON NANOWRIMO.
It only took me 6 tries and a lot of stress and sweat and tears, but I finally did it. So I thought I would share a little bit about this journey has taught me.
Persistence is key.
I’m a big believer in not giving up, to be perfectly honest. There are some cases in which it’s perfectly appropriate, but only have a great deal of effort has been put in, only if you know you’re going to get anywhere unless circumstances change (and they do). Otherwise, though, why not keep pushing forward? Try different things. Try the same thing in different ways. But keep going. If you don’t write, you’re not going to finish a novel. If you don’t push through the hard parts, you’re not going to have the satisfaction of typing “the end” (and boy, is it worth it). Be persistent. Keep working.
Know your limits.
This may seem counter-intuitive, considering the persistence thing, but you have to know when to stop, too. You need to be able to tell when you should give up, and when you want to give up just because it’s hard. You need to work on recognizing when you’re running out of energy, and need to take a break, as opposed to just being lazy and not wanting to write.
Work in bite-sized pieces.
50 thousand words is a lot. That’s roughly 100 pages. For some people, it isn’t a lot. For some people, it’s an insurmountable mountain. And for some people, all it takes is realizing that 50 thousand words in 30 days is 1667 words a day. That’s about five pages. A lot of people can do that. A lot of people can do more, time allowing. Write what you can every day (if you can; binge on the weekends if you can’t) and it adds up pretty quickly).
You have to figure out what works for you.
Some people can’t write 1667 words a day. For some people, NaNoWriMo doesn’t work. And that’s okay. You have to figure out what works for you personally; listening to what works for others can be very helpful in that, but no strategy is universal. You’ll be so much happier if you figure out what works for you. NaNoWriMo finally worked for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s your thing.
Did your participate in NaNoWriMo? What did you write about?
What are your writing strategies and lessons?
What works for you, creatively speaking?