November’s lessons learned

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I crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line today, wrapping up my draft (rather hastily) at 52K words. I expected more of a sense of triumph; instead, I just feel a little lost. What am I supposed to do now that I don’t have to wring words out of every second of every day?

Write more words, of course!

Next up on my plate is getting Stone Alliance ready for publication on March 2nd. (Hooray!) But before I move on to that, I wanted to put together a list of things I learned from my first NaNoWriMo experience.

  1. I can produce 2000-4000 words a day. Regularly.
  2. Other things have to be cut out in order to make that happen.
  3. Social media is a great thing to cut out. Signing off of Facebook drastically increased my productivity and improved my general sense of well-being.
  4. I can’t keep up that pace indefinitely, nor do I want to. Devoting myself to churning out a first draft is good while it lasts, but at some point, I do have to get back to marketing and networking and, you know, cleaning the bathrooms.
  5. Word count deadlines are a great way to shut down my inner editor.
  6. I’m not sure I like shutting down my inner editor quite that much. I don’t know, I have to get a little more space between me and this craziness; but right now, I’m even less thrilled with what I produced than I usually am with first drafts.
  7. In the end, setting a goal is the way to go. No matter what the goal is, I’m much more productive when I have a solid, set goal to reach–and all the better when I have writing buddies to hold me to it!

So am I converted? Is NaNoWriMo going to become an annual event in my life? I still don’t know. I’m glad to have a finished draft of this story that has at least five half-written incarnations on my hard drive, but like I said, I’m not terribly pleased with what I’ve written. Then again, that could just be because I’m so ready to put Heather and Dean away and not so much as think their names again for several months, possibly even until next November. We’ll see what happens as time passes.

In the meantime, it’s time to get serious about the final stages of Stone Alliance. Also, keep an eye out for some giveaways coming soon!

How was your NaNo experience?

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13 Comments

  1. Woo-hoo! Glad to hear you hit the finish, Emily (not that I ever had any doubts)! High five! Granted, the draft from a NaNo mad rush is craptastic, but at least for me, it’s out of my head and someplace I can actually see it. I always shelve my NaNo projects for at least a month before I go back and see what kind of mess I have to clean up. It’s also about the habit for me, though this year was tougher than usual for some reason.

    Waiting for Stone Alliance…

  2. I’m STILL 7,000 words away from the finish line but still determined to finish. Which is obviously why I’m reading blog posts. I like NaNoWriMo because I like giving myself projects and challenges. I also never write enough. I have all these ideas in my head and don’t ever take the time to write them down. So NaNoWriMo makes you write the ideas down and then some. I like being able to cut away most of what I write in November and polish up what’s left. This month I started out really strong and really consistent. 2,000 words a day more or less. Then I got sick and skipped three whole days and almost threw in the towel. But I want to finish! So here I go. Back to it!

  3. It was great! I’m a convert. I don’t know if I’ll do it every year, either, but since my goal was to kickstart my flagging word count, I achieved my goal.
    And I feel the same way about Tornin and Ridge. They’re awesome characters, and I adore them, but they lived in my head on a daily basis for a month and since it’s such a dark book, I think it pulled me down a little, too. I’m firmly back in the second phantom book. So hopefully you’ll soon have something to read.

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