lunes, 3 de diciembre de 2012

How I did NOT win #NaNoWriMo, and yet, in a way, I still WON

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So, I did not get to 50k. In a way, it’s disappointing. I got to 45k. That makes it even more disappointing, because I was SO close to 50. I was almost there. I ALMOST had it. And then, I didn’t. 

I got very sick during the last few days. I tried, I really did. But, in the end, it just wasn’t worth it. I had to fight through a lot to get to 45k in the first place. NaNoWriMo was a very different experience than I thought it would be. In the end, I think, a little self-reflection is probably good. For me, and for anyone who wants to try this again. Take a lesson from my mistakes, and all that crap.

The whole shut your inner editor thing is a good advice. It works…for some. For me, it was downright impossible. I lost an ungodly amount of time trying to do this, and then, when I decided to just ignore it, I actually did much better. I realized, I should have been letting my inner editor speak from the first day. My inner editor rules me, that’s the truth of the matter. I can’t keep on writing when I’ve repeated the same word twice in the same sentence. And the overuse of adjectives gives me a headache. I will even lose sleep over it. That’s just the way it is.

It might not be that way for everyone, but that just the point. Everyone should get the chance to be the way they are. Writing is not something that has a blueprint. It’s not the same way for everyone. And that’s just fine.

The other thing that absolutely did not work for me was the word count. Some days 1k was fine. Others I could write 5k. One week in I got so stuck (and this always happens to me, because I suck at planning ahead, I get an idea, I get excited, and I just want to get started, but I’m very bad at figuring out how to get from point A to point B, and when I actually have to WRITE that, well, I get stuck), that I couldn’t write. All I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry. I had to summon and emergency council meeting (aka my mother and my sister), for a lost afternoon of R&R, which in our world equals shopping and ice cream.  

After that I had to sit down, take their ideas and flesh out what I actually wanted to do. I lost two days right there. And, I needed those two days. I really did. I wouldn’t have been able to FINISH my novel without those two days. But, for NaNo, those were two lost days. Because I should have done that before. And, I didn’t. I can’t. My brain just doesn’t work that way. I need to get going. I need to get my creative juices flowing. And, THEN, I can think about planning. 

So, lesson number one from November. #NaNo works, yes. But, it works in different ways, for different people. I guess you just have to figure out what you want it for, and make it work for you.

Oh, and also, you have to realize that it will make you a lousy friend, coworker, sister, girlfriend, daughter, etc. You will also, eat too much, too little, drink a lot of coffee, eat a lot of ice cream, or just eat nothing at all. November will be a moth of extremes. That’s just #NaNo for you. That’s the way it’s built. Are you up for it?

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