What Nanowrimo taught me

I am so obviously not going to be able to clock 50000 by tomorrow, and now’s not too early to summarise (or reflect) on what I’ve learnt from doing Nanowrimo this year. I’m quite sure many writers have come to the conclusions that I have but hey, nothing beats a first-hand experience.

  1. I procrastinate. This is not new. This is an in-your-face reminder for which I am grateful.
  2. I’m actually okay with my procrastination. I’m not sure what to think about this. I think I may be on the defensive, trying to justify this procrastination with the idea that you can’t force inspiration. I should really judge myself when there’s work that absolutely has to be completed by a deadline. As far as I can remember, I managed to meet all deadlines in those cases. BUT – and this is a huge BUT – the process is important too. I shouldn’t be doing last minute work. So.
  3. Writing needs planning and research. Any writer can tell you this. As I was typing away, I found a need to go search for all sorts of science-y details to make Burin’s story believable. I found that bit enjoyable, and very time-consuming. I keep opening new tabs on my browser and ate up my time.
  4. Writing needs discipline. See point 1.
  5. Some stories need to be told in the number of words they need to be told. For some stories, 30000 words are enough; for others, 100000 words are not enough.
  6. Sometimes the writer is just a deliverer of tales. The story tells itself.
  7. When (6) happens, the story is a breeze to write and you are not in control (except after, when you edit).

I’m going to end it off here even though it’s at seven points and some people might have a cow because 1) it’s an odd number, and 2) it’s not in five’s or ten’s.

I enjoyed this short self-driven Nanowrimo project. I didn’t manage to do meetups with local writers because of my work schedule, so that’s a pity. Then again, I’m not one for minglign. I will continue Burin’s story because it is a story that needs to be told, for me and for Burin, but mostly, I must admit, for me.