(writing/nanowrimo) Lessons I’ve learned from this year’s NaNo

Okay, last NaNo post, I promise. 🙂 But I learned a few things about my writing style this time around (I learn things every time, honestly) and I thought I’d share them with you guys. So here are the lessons I’m taking away from this year.

1. Planning: I am not a pantser. This NaNo really drove that point home. I need to plan things out. Once I started sitting down and planning what I was writing that day, I started getting the higher word counts. That being said, I may be overplanning some things, and underplanning others. Outlining, like writing, is an art, not a science, and I’m still perfecting my art. I probably always will.

2. Time: I CAN write 4k in a day, if I have an idea of what I need to write and I make the time to write. Most of my 4k days, I did very little but write. This is not healthy – I gained about 10 lbs over the course of November, a combination of stress eating and not moving around enough. In addition, my long-suffering husband barely saw me. Not good. However, I now know that if I need to, I can write 50k in a month.

3. Kittens are your friend: OMG, it seems so stupid, but seriously, Written?Kitten! got me through NaNo. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have made it without the kittens. For those not familiar with the site, it gives you a new kitten (or sunrise or puppy or whathaveyou) picture for every certain number of words you type. I went with the default 100 words, but you can do up to 1000, I believe. Seriously, it works. No, I have no idea why, but it does.

4. Friends help, too: Without my friends on Twitter, Facebook and Forward Motion, writing along with me and cheering me on, I wouldn’t have finished. The community of writers is simply amazing. That said, turning off Twitter/Facebook helped me write too.

So there you go. Thus ends NaNoWriMo 2011. Next year, I’ll win earlier than the last day.

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