November 9, 2011

lessons from a nano newbie

Blogger's Note: My friend and NaNoWriMo writing buddy takes a break from her novel to share her impressions one week into her first attempt at completing National Novel Writing Month a winner.

Jacie hard at work during a coffee-infused write-a-thon.
By Jacie Noel
Guest blogger

Being my first time doing Nanowrimo, I wasn't sure what to expect. Sure, I had read posts and tweets from fellow writers and got advice from Laura but going through it yourself is a whole different thing.

Going from writing poetry and short stories to a novel has been quite a transition. I'm only 8 days in but in this short time, I've already learned more about myself and my writing habits. Here is some of what I've learned so far:

Write more, edit less.
I've always been notorious for critiquing my work. The best thing I have done so far is write and not edit as I go. I feel more at ease when I let my thoughts immediately flow from my head onto paper and not over-thinking it. It may not be my best writing but going back to edit later will clean up the loose ends.

Inspiration comes when I least expect it.
Being a morning person, I figured my best writing time would be in the morning. I've written a couple mornings but I've noticed a lot of my inspiration comes at the end of the day, sometimes when I haven't been thinking of my novel at all. An idea pops into my head, I go to write it down then end up working late into the night. It's made for some rough mornings but that's what coffee's for right?

However, you can't wait for it to strike.
At moments when inspiration does strike, it's great. But meeting a 50,000 word deadline won't happen waiting for the words to magically appear. Sometimes it's all about sitting your butt down and writing. It may not be perfect but I'm still creating and getting words on the page. As with above, I can always edit it later.

Music is my savior.
Music has always been a big part of my life and it's always been a big part of my writing/inspiration. When I have had those moments of I don't know what to do next, I take a break to listen to my playlist and let the music fill in the gaps for me.

Nanowrimo is more than writing a novel, it's accepting a challenge. It not only challenges my writing ability but myself as well. You never really know what you're capable of until you push yourself beyond your limit. And what can be greater than that?

Follow Jacie on Twitter @jacielynnnoel.

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