As many of us know November was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I made my first attempt at writing a novel. I didn’t make the 50,000 word mark (mostly because life things had gotten in the way) but I did learn a few things from the experience.
First, have a plan. I went into this one blind. Other than a basic plot and some ideas about characters, I really had no clear idea as to where I wanted to go with the story. Even though I knew that the goal of NaNoWriMo was to just get the words onto the page and edit later, I found myself jumping around with scenes that just popped into my head and not sure really how they would fit in the grand scheme of the story.
Secondly, I learned that I shouldn’t try to force myself to write when I have no inspiration. There were a couple of days that I just sat with my notebook and really struggled to come up with something… ANYTHING. I would really get down on myself for not writing at all (much hair pulling and teeth gritting ensued). Thank goodness for reality checks. Sometimes, the words just won’t come and that will happen. During those times when that happens, I just have to take a step back, assess what I have written and maybe some inspiration will come. That did help on occasion.
The last thing that I learned was that I need to give myself time to write. I still plan to continue writing the novel I have started but after coming up with a plan and writing when I have inspiration, I’ll need to make time to write it. That was the last thing I learned this month. Between appointments and work, I’ll need to add “writing” as something in my calendar to actually do.
I think if I take the lessons that I’ve learned this month and put them into action that I just might get the words that are running through my head onto the page and into the hands of someone interested in reading it.