Nearing the End of NaNoWriMo
So, I have not been updating my blog with the NaNo like I had expected, but rest assured, I have been writing! I am currently over 35,000 words, and need to be at 38, 341 by the end of today! I am a little behind, but it’ll be ok. I will get there. I have been sitting at the dining room table writing this afternoon, but decided to take this moment to provide one update before this is all said and done!
Here are 5 things that I’ve learned from this year’s NaNoWriMo:
I have something to say. For a long time I’ve felt that I don’t have a story to tell, and that no one wants to hear what I have to say. The thing is, I’ve spent this month writing simply for me and it’s been wonderful. I was talking with my brother in law, Etienne yesterday about my inconsistency with blogging and he reminded me an important thing: “I just write for myself now. If there’s someone that’s similar to me, then they’ll enjoy it. If not, it’s ok.” By writing for myself for this past month, I’ve really connected to myself and have learned that there’s plenty in my head. I’ve got a story to tell, and if I take the time and spend the energy on my creativity, something will come out of it.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m inconsistent with tenses and person. I’ve got several words that I consistently misspell, and there are several things that need to be edited, but still, I’ve connected to myself and am closer to finding my voice. I’ve gained confidence from this process and I’m proud of what’s come of the story so far.
It doesn’t have to be a best seller. I’ve listened to several audiobooks that tell me this, but still I was afraid that I needed to better than I was. I often looked down on my own writing. This month taught me that writing is hard work. It’s not easy to sit and drudge out the words. It’s not easy to take what’s in my head and put it to paper, or to Word in my case. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary. I don’t have to write a best seller, I just have to write. Ernest Hemingway once said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” This gives me the courage to sit down and actually write my story. I have something to write, and I am eager to do so. My fifth grade teach also told us to write. He would tell us to write whatever came into our minds, and that no matter if we thought it was good or bad, it was meant to be written. I loved that about my teacher. Ernest Hemingway also encouraged F. Scott Fitzgerald when he said, “write the best story that you can and write it as straight as you can.” That’s what I’m going to do here. I hope you can enjoy it!
Take it one day at a time. I haven’t written every day. There were days I skipped due to my workload, but I’ve made it this far. I’ve written over 35,000 words and I couldn’t be prouder of the progress I’ve made. If I waited until the last minute, this goal of 50,000 words would be un-achievable, but by taking it a day at a time, working on 1,000 or 2,000 words a day, I have been able to work consistently and get this far. This motivates me to continue working, to continue writing. One day, I’ll reach my goal and I will have a worthy memoir. Maybe I’ll even have it published!
Avoid editing. That’s what I love about NaNoWriMo! They really encourage writers to simply write for the month of November and consider editing the following month, when the novel’s been completed. I like this method because it allows for honest progress. If I were stressed about making the perfect draft, I would never complete the story. I would write and re-write the same chapter over and over until I hated the story. This way, I can write and move through the story. I don’t have to worry about whether or not I said a thing twice or not. I don’t have to worry about if I placed something in the wrong spot. I don’t have to worry about if what I wrote was irrelevant. That’s a worry for another month. For this month, I only need to worry about getting the words on the page and there being a single focus helps me feel more confident in achieving the goal.