Seven Things NaNoWriMo Has Taught Me (So Far).

On October 31, I had no intention of writing a novel at any point in the foreseeable future. Then, on November 1, I signed up for NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. Because I? Like to fly by the seat of my pants, people.

So, yeah. I’m writing a novel. In fact, I’m almost-but-not-quite halfway done with the 50,000 words I’m supposed to have written by the end of the month. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Things like:

I get really bitchy when I’m stuck—Friday night found me throwing tantrums on twitter and stomping around the house—all because I couldn’t figure out where to take the story next.

Things go better when I just. let. go. I am something of a control freak. I tend to want everybody and everything to do things my way. But when I try to force the words? It just doesn’t work. I’m having to get in touch with my inner Zen mama to get this done.

My attention span is longer than I thought—For years, my excuse for not writing a novel has simply been that I get bored too quickly. Turns out, I can focus for longer than it takes to wash my hair  (if I really want to).

The act of writing something completely different gives me fresh perspective. Probably because I’m not currently requiring myself to come up with a new post every night, I find myself with more post ideas than I have time to write. I think that’s what you call a Catch 22 situation.

I am not in charge of the story. I thought I knew where I wanted to go. And I still know where I want to end up. But the things that happen along the way? Are constantly surprising me. It’s kind of like life, that way…

I can’t stand to talk about a work in progress. As a copywriter, I’m always having to talk through my ideas with people. But this? This is different. My hackles go up whenever my husband expresses an interest in what I’m doing. If I keep this up for too long, I’m likely to become a hermit.

My competitive streak comes in handy. Over on my NaNoWriMo page, I can see the word counts for all of my writing buddies. And when they get too far ahead? I get cranky. I don’t like to be beaten, damn it.

So those are the not-so-deep life lessons I’ve learned over the last 15 days. And that’s all I’ve got. Have I mentioned that writing this much is very tiring?

Because it is. Please add coffee to the list of things you can send me.

6 Comments on Seven Things NaNoWriMo Has Taught Me (So Far).

  1. Rebecca
    November 16, 2010 at 11:15 am (5 years ago)

    So what are the plans once you’re done? Will you share some of it with us?

    • Amber
      November 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm (5 years ago)

      I will share…if it’s not total crap. At this point, I’m thinking there will be something salvageable, so I’ll most likely spend December/January editing and making it real, and then we’ll see.

  2. (Florida) Girl with a New Life
    November 16, 2010 at 11:18 am (5 years ago)

    I think I have come to the conclusion that I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo–ever. I just don’t have the stuff for it.

    I am impressed that you are doing the deed! I hope we get a chance to read some of your stuff.

    • Amber
      November 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm (5 years ago)

      It’s not easy, but it’s not as hard as I thought it would be, either. I have a strict no-going-back-and-looking-at-what-I-wrote policy this month, but maybe next month I’ll share.

  3. Lady Jennie
    November 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm (5 years ago)

    I think like Florida Girl, I’m happy just sticking to blogging. But I’ll read your book when it comes out! One sale – yaaaay!

    • Amber
      November 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm (5 years ago)

      Alright! Can you publish it too?


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