NaNoWriMo wrap-up: Lessons learned this November

NaNo-2015-Winner-Badge-Large-SquareI won! Woo hoo! But did I learn anything while I was typing away? You bet!

Writing can be therapeutic. There were times this month that I worked through a personal issue by making it belong to one of the characters. I don’t recall doing this before intentionally, but it did help. Sometimes it was a matter of acceptance over a thing I couldn’t control or change, and writing about it clarified that for me.

Writing can be torture! Sometimes it’s just not going to come easily. I had to keep going, though, and try. Inspiration might appear after the first five-hundred words written in a day, hard as they were. Then the rest of that day’s count would be much, much easier. The point was perseverance.

The first week or so is really hard when you’re out of shape. Going from writing here and there but having the soul of a writer to actually doing the work every day is like hardcore training for a marathon (speaking without experience on that, admittedly).

Writing regularly is good for me. Okay, I thought I knew this one already from previous NaNo experiences and the years before the kids arrived, when I would go through phases of writing almost daily for a few months, then find other projects and hobbies to fill my time. I kept telling myself each year after NaNo that I needed to make the writing stick and do it more often. This year, I hope I’ve finally learned, partly due to the therapy angle, that I do need to write. I am a writer, and that’s not changing no matter how busy I become. We had a stomach bug in the first week, a cold in the last and financial issues throughout, but I still managed to get that 50K done and it felt so good most of the month.

It’s taken a few days to write this post since life likes to interrupt me in my attempts to write, but it’s incredibly important for me to publish it even if it may seem late. I need to be able to see this post myself and remember these lessons. This isn’t just a hobby or a faraway dream, like I’d always thought; this is something I’ve got to do for my sanity. So when I don’t talk about writing for a while, kick my butt into gear!

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