NaNoWriMo Was A Go!

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.

50 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Was A Go!

  1. This is very interesting, SuziCate. As I am more of an essayist and since I also edit as I write, I wonder how I would do trying to write a story. I have an idea that could be a story, but the only fiction I’ve written was a futuristic fantasy – about 35 years ago. I’m amazed at how many of the “cool devices” I wrote about actually exist today.

    We haven’t invented a “FormUtub” yet. It’s a capsule you slip into before bed time. It measures your energy and mood. It sets the lights, the music, the fragrance and the temperature. Then it gives you a massage that bathes and oils.

    You are free to imagine the rest! 😀

    • You can do it. I used to do fiction and switching to nonfiction has been an incredibled surprise, that is finding that’s where my heart is. I dabble here and there…you know the saying jack of all trades, master of none!
      A “formutub”…sounds like interesting and entertaining; you need to get that pen to paper,

  2. Awesome. I agree with what you said about success, but you did at least meet the 60,000 word mark/goal. I think that if you learned something it was a success! Yay you!

    I hope you are feeling better now!

  3. BRAVA Suzi!

    You GO, girl!

    I so admire you for having taken that challenge, used it in your own way, and learned something from it!

    “This process has proved to me that simply writing ignites creativity.”

    I know what you mean because this is why I set a ‘doable’ posting schedule for myself. If I know that I’ve committed to posting twice a week, I have stick to it, And it’s funny because I found that MAKING myself stick to this schedule, DOES ignite my creative juices. Even if sometimes it’s at the last minute before posting.

    Again, a BIG congrats, my friend!

    Have a grrrreat day…..X

    • Thanks. Ha, I actually never left the real world (thus only writing, 19 of 30 days and still working), just happened to be in the zone during the times I wrote. I just didn’t waste mindless hours of the evening like I often do.

  4. Suzicate, you are an amazingly prolific writer. I think freeing yourself up and not “editing” is a great method to expand creativity. Good for you taking on this challenge! (But I’m not surprised you did it and successfully too!)

  5. Wow! Congrats! I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year, having finished successfully last year, and then did not write a single word – the difference between having half a job last year and a job and a half this year was painfully evident. So I’ve had to think about what changes I must make in order to keep writing for myself. So proud of you!

  6. You make some valid points, Suzicate, and I’m blown away by your success! When we know our strengths and weaknesses, what drives us and what holds us back, we can overcome the negatives and “accentuate the positives.” Sounds like you’re on the right track for that — congrats on your break-through!

  7. Congrats! But I had no doubt that you could do it. You are your own worst critic! Cut yourself some slack. You probably discard more great stuff than other writers even write to begin with!

    • I knew in starting that I would not write eight of the days, and then I got sick, not once but twice…has not been my best month of health. I worked on memoir and family story…don’t know if I’ll ever publish anything but possibly a few stories on my blog maybe. Mostly, I wanted to do this to pass on to my children.

    • Thanks, Sharon. Now I just need to polish them. I put together all the other memoir/family stories from my blog and other works and those totaled over 60,000 as well; so I think I will have a nice collection to give to my kids.

  8. I’m terrible for not being able to edit while I write too – sometimes it takes me fifteen minutes to finish a sentence. I think your reason for embarking on NaNoWriMo is a really good one, and mine would be similar if I ever did it.

    • There are many parts I plan to expand on and others I will probably delete. As far as being happy with it as it is, no. Had I critiqued as I wrote, I’d only have half the word count, if that. But even much of what I will delete, I will actually carry the ideas over into other projects. This was an invaluable challenge for me.

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