Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What I've learned from doing NaNoWriMo

1. That it takes an enormous amount of time and discipline to do it and that's not always good for my mood.

2. That writing my story was much more emotionally challenging than I expected. I thought I had enough distance from some tough stuff that I wrote about, but writing about it was really affecting me at times.

3. That getting your story overwritten is really stressful and can make you cry so hard that you have a headache for the next two days.

4. That data recovery is not easy and can take 14 hours to compile and even then you don't get all of it and then you're even further behind.

5. That coming back from that data recovery setback is GRUELING.

6. That if it hadn't been for the data recovery issue, we were not only on, but ahead of, pace.

7. That getting a puppy while doing NaNoWriMo is really testing the limits of your ability to pull it off.

8. That it makes sense that so many writers have dogs. They are wonderfully, cuddly writing buddies. They make you be disciplined and snuggly.

9. That doing NaNoWriMo with friends is wicked fun and keeps you going and excited.

10. That several other story ideas can pop in my head as I work on the one story at hand.

11. That so much of what I wrote was total crap.

12. That some of what I wrote was really good!

13. That I think I'm a pretty good writer, but not so great in the imagination department.

14. That my husband rules at going after what he wants in life even while working his tail end off at multiple jobs and things around the house, too.

15. That our kids LOVE NaNoWriMo and are totally doing it again.

16. That it's a good feeling to print up our winner's certificate and collect our winner goodies (certificate, blog picture in post below this one, etc.).

17. That I appreciate all the support and encouragement from friends.

18. That Cristin's family sent her the coolest package full of supportive items to help her do it--now, that is super thoughtful and super cool.

19. That I so appreciate friends who I know laid low and refrained from contacting us or inviting us to do stuff for the whole month--we've missed them but love that they supported us like that. Bring on December!

20. That I can get REALLY behind on emails and general life stuff when doing this 30-days-of-literary-abandon thing.

21. That I don't miss Facebook one bit.

22. That we're grateful for friends who invite us over for Thanksgiving so we won't be lonesome. We were going to be by ourselves and, in a way, were cool with that, given that November is NaNoWriMo month, but it was nice to not have to cook at all and to share it with friends and their family. It was really good of them to include us.

23. That I would totally do this again.

Mark and Cristin, I'd love to hear any more you've come up with, too!!


the emily said...

yeah, the puppy thing and data recovery thing were awful timing. I would love to see how it goes for you next November (?) without those life upheavals. You're amazing!

Lindsay said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I sometimes am not able to read full blog posts or emails lately cause my time on the computer is limited!!! SOOOORRRRYYYY!! Will you tell me which post it was that you were talking about? I feel badly. I did read this full post! Nice job! I am very proud of my SIL!

terahreu said...

Congrats! What great lessons to learn. Where can we read your final result?

Awesome job!

Vivian said...

I don't know what to say except: congratulations on achieving a worthwhile goal and best wishes on the next step. Does the editing have a timeline?

Dr. Mark said...

Thanks for all the congratulatory offerings. There is no timeline for the editing since the contest is essentially to see if you can put 50,000 words together in 30 days. Beyond that it's up to individual authors to do what they will with those words.

I've learned that even if you write 50,000 words, if you don't finish the actual story by November 30, it gets harder to finish.

I've learned that people have no idea what they are asking when they say they want to read those 50,000 words. Reference, underline, and add exclamation points (which I almost never use, by the way) to #11.

J Fo said...

I'm glad that even with all the hard stuff that it was still worth it to you AND that you'd do it again!

Boquinha said...

Linds, I honestly don't remember. It was a while ago. No worries. I just thought it was so funny! :P

As for editing, the next step for me in that process is to do like Stephen King does and put it away and not look at it for a while and then go back to it with a fresh look to start editing/rewriting.

Mark, I highly doubt that. I think your story is going to be GREAT. I can hardly wait to swap stories and read them!!

katie said...

Congratulations! 50000 words is a whole lot of words. If I were to try, it would be extremely boring stuff I am afraid. Good for you and good luck on the next step.

Cristin said...

I learned that I **love** having an excuse to take so much time to write. And now that it's over, I'm finding out how much I miss it.

I learned that it's possible for me to write while my kids are running around, even though I like writing while it's quiet better.

I learned that it's fun to write with friends.

I learned that they play Barbara Streisand a lot at a certain coffee bar.

I could go on and on here, but one of the biggest things I learned is that I could do it, and I'm not sure I would have done it this year if you didn't...I probably would have thought about it one minute and then talked myself out of it the next. (Fifty thousand words...in NOVEMBER?) So thank you..a hundred thank yous. It was great. : )

The Rat Life said...

So glad for you guys... You taking on this challenge is an inspiration! An inspiration to take challenging roads...with discipline...perseverance...patience...endurance...! Thanks~