Thursday, November 17, 2011

What I've Learned From NaNo So Far.

Writing the beginning if fun. Writing the middle is hard.

I have amazing Crit partners who offer advice, listen to whining and send care packages.

Also, they write beautiful words like these.

Some days are easier than others.

Some days are impossible.

The people in the rest of my life have no concept of what I’m doing, nor do they want to hear about it (excepting, of course, my husband and kids).

I draft well with music. (I think it mostly drowns out the noise of the kids)

I wore a hole in the butt of my favorite jeans. Yep. And I’m not ashamed.

After this month is over I’m going to:

Buy new jeans. Go to dinner to celebrate. Go to a movie. Not write on the weekends. And try to keep the momentum going!

How are you doing? What have you learned?


  1. I've learned not to worry about taking things in chunks. This year I've done a really weird mix of plotting and pantsing. I would outline the first act, then write it, then panic for a while bc OMG WHERE AM I GOING, then outline the second act, then write it, then panic for a while bc OMG WHERE AM I GOING, then outline the third act, then write it.

    And the coolest part was the twists that came at the end of each outlined section that I hadn't plotted. I was surprising myself, but I still knew where I was going. I've decided I like this method.

  2. Writing? What's that? Am I supposed to be working on something?

    I'm usually pretty fast at writing first drafts. Not Taryn fast, of course, but this is the slowest progress I've made on anything. And it has nothing to do with the amount of TV I've been watching. Okay, maybe it does.

    One thing I've learned (which is rather ridiculous to learn during NaNo, but I'm not participating, so it's okay) is that it's all right to take a break. It's okay to make the choice to not write for a bit. It doesn't make you less of a writer and it lets you put things in perspective and come back with a clearer sense of why you're doing what you're doing.

  3. I've learned I can write an impressive about of crap and keep going. That I can do crazy (for me) word count days. And that NaNo for me is finishing what I set out to accomplish. This novel is so much rougher than I wanted it to be, but it's a first draft and I'm working to be okay with it and move forward.
    I've also learned that I'm terrified of getting behind. That it would put me into a funk and I'd give up.
    The most important one though, is that breaks are good and super helpful. After them I can crank out those huge writing days, so a day off is not a loss, it's an opportunity for my slow brain to process what could/should happen next so I'm ready to tackle my MS when I get back to it.

    Thanks NaNo for teaching me these things and for friends to cheer me on. We're almost there.

  4. Taryn,
    I love that your story takes control--despite your careful planning.

    You're right. We do have to step away sometimes.And even watch TV once and a while.

    I agree. It's ok to right rough. Isn't that what drafting is for? We'll fix it later.

  5. I've learned that my critique group rocks!