No more National Novel Writing Month for me. This is frustrating to admit, as I am usually a stick-to-it sort of person, but this wasn’t my story or my year. Maybe another time. Maybe not.
Here, though, are a few things I’ve learned from the experience:
- If ever asked to write about characters I’ve worked with in the past, I’ll have to do some serious work. I was surprised by my lack of interest in my characters when placing them in a new setting. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this?
- Word count goals stress me out.
- In keeping with the less is more philosophy, it was kind of interesting to leave myself notes in the midst of my manuscript and try alternate ways to say something (keeping all options on the page).
- The camaraderie makes the experience.
- NaNo stretched me to attack my writing in a new way, which is always a good thing.
- The NaNo Guru is realistic in her goals and encouraging in her approach. Thanks for everything, Carrie.
All the best to those of you sticking with it! I’ll continue to check in on you. Please share your progress here, too.
If you come away from November knowing a little bit more about your own style as a writer, then it was DEFINITELY a win to give NaNo a try! Congrats!
And I hope you’re still writing something… (nudge, nudge).
Caroline Starr Rose says
Just started some research on the Roma (Gypsies) earlier. Excited about where this will lead…
I tried NaNo once, and quit. For me, the most joy in writing is discovering the story. I absolutely hated rushing it. I guess I like to see my story unfold over months rather than days. I’m a better writer that way. Plus, I am not a fan of revisions (I do them, of course), so the neater my first draft, the less work later on.
Don’t feel guilty. You tried. It’s definitely not for everyone. 🙂
Kasie West says
No shame in quitting. It’s actually better to admit that the story/experience isn’t working out than to just do something that will be a complete waste of time. I’m with Anissa, I hate to rush something I enjoy so much.
Stephanie Thornton says
I can’t rush a story. I signed up for NaNo, but decided to start writing a couple weeks before November 1st. Writing is creative and in me, creativity comes at its own pace. I was worried the stress would kill the story and I didn’t want that to happen.
T. Anne says
Oh gosh I don’t know how I missed your big news, HUGE congrats on getting your agent!!!!!!! Send some good vibes my way would ya? I’m thrilled for you! XOXO
I’m so glad you found some wonderful tips to take away from NaNo.
The pressure had me at the first week then I reminded myself that the goal was to write my story.
So write your story!
PJ Hoover says
Good for you for knowing what you needed to do and doing it.
Heidi Willis says
You were better than me…at least you attempted it.
There can be a lot of good things that come out of NaNo. 50,000 words is only one of them.
Good for you for finding some of the others!
Sharon Mayhew says
Caroline, no shame in changing directions. I’m using NaNo as a guide to working on three projects. The first project is in the revision stage. I wrote a writer’s resume and a cover letter. I have a MG and YA I’ve been tossing around for a year or so in my head. I know what I do in NaNo isn’t going to give me a “complete” novel, but it’s just the word count that I’m trying to do. I’m at about 7,000. The other two I’m starting…I’m just hoping to get some drafts done. 🙂