I joined the NaNoWriMo bandwagon this year. I didn’t officially register, but I did sign up with WNFIN/Write Nonfiction in November. I set a goal of 2,000 words a day which would total at 60,000 by the end of the month. My word target was entirely separate from blog posts and any other works in progress. I knew ahead of time that I’d be taking time off for Thanksgiving and for vacation. I figured I could make up the word count on weekends.
NaNoWriMo provides different challenges for each participant. Many do this writing challenge in an attempt to write a novel in thirty days. That was not my goal. Others do it for the discipline of writing every day. I already do that. My problem is that I edit as I write. I wanted to learn to write freely without my inner critic screaming at me. Being accustomed to doing this has made it difficult for me to write on demand. Therefore, writing on demand became my second goal.
I will not write if I’m not in the mood. I want to already have those creative juices flowing before I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. As a procrastinator I’ve always had a difficulty in starting. This process has proved to me that simply writing ignites creativity. I never lacked for material as one idea or memory led to another.
Had I edited as I wrote I would have lost many ideas. Free writing provides me areas to expand on the topic at hand. The greatest find is knowing I will be able to use many of these jumbled masses of words to start other writing projects.
Out of the thirty days, I only wrote for nineteen. I hadn’t counted on getting sick on top of the other times I took off from writing. However, I feel I was saved by some prolific days. My word total came to 62,180. Whether I was successful or not is a matter of opinion.
Facing my own stubbornness had been an invaluable writing experience. Learning to cut and paste instead of deleting had proved to be a beneficial process for me. Knowing how I operate will help me set more realistic writing goals. I think what I’ve taken from this experience will keep me from feeling overwhelmed and allow me to complete more writing projects.