How NaNoWriMo Makes You A Better Writer

I‘ve been involved in NaNoWriMo this month. NaNoWriMo, for those of you unfamiliar stands for National Novel Writing Month.

We’re almost halfway through it and, as of this date, I’m at about 21,000 words. Fell a little bit behind and missed a few days at first and I’m also allowing for Thanksgiving holidays coming up. I figure I need to write 2,000/day to keep up. But I know I’ll get there. I’m determined to write my words.

‘Write your words’ is a favorite battle cry from the NaNo site which is kind of like Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’. Those three little words are very encouraging. Write your words, just do it, keep it simple.  Do your best, do some every day, set your goal and aim for it. (And no excuses.) Write your words. I like that.

~THE CHALLENGE~

It’s sometimes not easy to write your words each and every day. The goal is to write 50,000 words and that amounts to a little less than 1,700/day which is no small feat. And…if you fall behind a day, get ill, have to be out of town, etc., and have to miss the target that day, it is that much more you have to write every day until it’s over. That is where I’m at.

Starting a day late, and missing another day while I had to go out of town has upped my required writing–to meet the 50,000 word goal–to 2,000 words a day. I’ve also taken into account that Thanksgiving could throw a wrench into things and am allowing for the foreseeable event that I will miss at least a day(if not two)over that holiday weekend as well.

But, everyone has hindrances to ‘getting the job done’. Some people are working a full-time job and then have to come home to write. Or, perhaps they have small children to tend to or other responsibilities–which can make it all that much more difficult. I don’t have either of these excuses, so I am fully committed to completing my 50,000 word count requirement. As of right now, I am almost to the halfway mark.

By the end of tomorrow-on the fifteenth of November-I will have reach 23,000 words. That leaves me 15 more days to reach my goal. So do-able!

~INCENTIVES~

Full Disclosure: I have to say, this has been a huge challenge for me. I’m a born procrastinator and I admit that it took knowing that a close entrepreneur friend like myself was also doing this project to get me to fully commit. She wisely began on the 1st day; I missed the beginning day but we’ve been championing each other’s causes and giving feedback, encouragement, etc. to each other since we joined forces; It all helps in keeping us on track to reach that goal of 50 thousand. (It helps to have a friend.)

Another great incentive bonus besides having a writing buddy is Contentpalooza, a private Facebook group (probably one of many facebook groups on this project) where you can track your progress, discuss what you’re writing, and give/get encouragement when you feel you are at a loss for words to write or feel like just plain giving up. It has crossed my mind, believe me.

There’s also a NaNoWriMo Twitter page devoted to the latest updates, and it’s also probably one of many pages on that particular, social networking site.

~AMAZE YOURSELF~

A big thing that keeps me from giving up, though, is the astonishing amount of words I’ve written so far! Here’s the lowdown on what I’ve written so far:

* I’ve written about six blogposts–for my own site and as guest posts (at this rate I’ll have enough blogposts to easily take me into the New Year);
* I’ve done ‘homework’ of a private nature that requires writing;
* I’ve worked on chapters of a novel
* And an e-book/salespage outline for my blog site.

And, then, there’s also a bit of the miscellaneous crap thrown in, but I think I’ve been pretty focused! And, I’m only halfway!  Isn’t that amazing?! Now, I just need to keep this concentrated effort of ‘writing my words’ going the rest of the year! Better yet, the rest of my life. 🙂

~BONUSES~

Originally I thought you had to write a novel; I haven’t solely done that. But, I realized it doesn’t matter if you’re not working on a novel per se. Some people are working on memoirs, screenplays, editing, or like my friend and myself, a combination of things.

And, it’s great because, no matter what my writing is now tighter, faster, and my thoughts are becoming clearer. It’s just the sheer amount of writing alone being done (even when it’s gibberish it doesn’t matter)  as out of that gibberish, at least a nugget or two of real gems are bound to show up.

Just thinking of all the stuff that I’ve written that can be repurposed gets me stoked. Like the chapters from the novel-in-progress could be blogposts or a screenplay or a magazine article, the e-book outline could become a for-sale program.  There’s another whole year’s worth of words that could become fodder for 2012!

~CONCLUSION~

Taking into account the unforseen, I’m already a better writer now than I was two weeks ago. Plain and simple. At the end of this, I’ll be an even better one. And, if I didn’t make it…(notice I don’t say ‘don’t’ make it because I’m not letting myself off the hook). I’ll not be eating my words. I’ll be writing them.

…Are YOU ready for a challenge?  Have you challenged yourself recently?  Tell me about it in the comments below…And, Best Of Luck! and Congratulations!

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jean


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