So I ended NaNoWriMo with 34,685 words. While I didn’t win, I did do better than last year. And I know that’s a lot more words than I would have written on my own without the NaNoWriMo gimmick. Yes, I wanted to have my manuscript finished and it’s not, but I made significant progress and had a lot of fun.
Here’s what I’ve learned from two attempts at NaNoWriMo:
- Write every day. Even if it’s only a few hundred words. Even if it’s just a few dozen words. Write something every single day.
- Don’t let a bad day get you down. I missed my goals for several days around the election. I pressed on, however, and got myself back on track. If I had done as well the last third of the month as the first two-thirds, I would have won.
- Ignore the rules. While the idea is to start a novel from scratch on day 1, if it doesn’t fit with your process/progress, it doesn’t mean that NaNoWriMo is a bad idea. Try to write 50,000 words on an existing manuscript. Or come up with an outline and do some research and start drafting on November 1. Make the concept work for you, however you work and wherever you’re at in your writing.
- No matter how you do, it’s probably better than you would have done without it, so celebrate however many words you write and hope to do better next year.
Now here’s to hoping I can finish The Easy Part before the end of the year.