"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Lessons learned...do I ever learn anything?

 Well, I did it. I got to the end of November having written over 57,000 words and recording the numbers faithfully in my NaNoWriMo account. Yes sir, I been there, done that, and the tee-shirt is in the mail!

I worked hard for those 57,000 words, often writing over 3,000 words a day. What did I learn from it all?

1. That I can write 3,000 words a day. Okay, I already knew that I can write copious amounts of words in a day when I'm under the gun, but I didn't know I could do it every day. It was like clocking in, doing my job, and clocking out.

2. That I am no longer afraid of "what comes next" in the story, especially the middle (aka The Muddle). All I need to do is let my characters start doing a mundane task--perform a chore, eat a meal, get dressed, etc. Soon, the plot is back on track, and sometimes a little something in that mundane task shines through as necessary to the story.

3. My ideal writing time is from 10 am until 3 pm. Before then, I am easily distracted. After then, I need a nap.

4. My ideal writing style is to write about 1,000 words, stop and record that I've written 1,000 words, take a peek at my email/messages, and write another 1,000 words. Rinse and repeat.

5. I am no longer afraid of writing 1,000 words of "what was I thinking" dreck. It is like a sculptor--I must carve out the basic shape and general angles, and then carefully, within the editing process, chisel the details.

I'm ever so glad to have tried and accomplished my first NaNoWriMo. Maybe I'll do it again next year. 

I feel like...yes, like a shining star!

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