My Lessons from NaNoWriMo 2011

Every year is the same thing, the challenge to write a novel in 30 days of 50,000 words or more. But is it really the same thing? In my three years doing Nano I can attest that it’s never the same experience, even if you’re meeting with the same people. So like every experience you take something out of it and I’m going to share my lessons from this year.

  • Thou shall not publish a book in October if you’re planning to participate in NaNoWriMo. Goodness gracious alive! It was my first time, and as first timers go, I didn’t know any better. I had no idea of all the work involved once you’re published and balancing all that was quite challenging.
  • Write-ins are your friends – I don’t think I would have made it this year without the write-ins and the support from my Pandas (Atlanta’s wrimos) There were days I couldn’t write being overwhelmed with other responsibilities, and writer’s block rode on my back all month, but you get to a write-in with the mindset that during that block of time is to focus on Nano, and you also talk out your hurdles and everyone pitches in, it was awesome!
  • Not all wrimos are created equal I think I took for granted that I was kind of veteran in this NaNo business and the first week I pushed very hard ending with 30k. You may think that’s amazing! Yeah, but then I was burned out and dragged the rest of the month. You shall never compare yourself to those non-human wrimos who can write 50k in a day (no names mentioned Smile with tongue out) and know that 3-5k for you is ok that way you’re not banging yourself against the walls in the middle of November.
  • Sleep is not optional – As much as I enjoy working all day and night… Wait, who am I kidding, I love my sleep! and  I missed it so much this month. If my plot came to me in a dream, then why didn’t I just take a nap when I was stuck. My brain just doesn’t function well with little sleep, it does things like forget to pay the bills, drive pass my exit, lose my car keys that are in my pocket…not a pretty picture!
  • I love my wrimo family – I have to say that at least in my region, wrimos are very close, even if we only see each other once a year. We stay in touch sporadically through social media throughout the rest of the year, but I’ve met some dear friends through this program. This year, a beautiful lady with whom I speak every day on twitter from Canada came to Atlanta and I had the opportunity to finally put a face with a name.  I also met two other Christian writers, one who I was her mentor and the other one who came to one of my write-ins. It’s a great experience overall.

So even when I did write over 50k this year, I don’t consider it a win because I didn’t complete the novel, but I had fun, met some fun and exciting people, was able to get with my friends again, ate the best coconut cake in town, didn’t gain weight during Nano and overall enjoyed the process of a new creation.

Until NaNoWriMo 2012, Have a blessed day!

Remember as it says in that cute green picture on the left side of my blog. From Dec 2nd to the 6th 99 hours of inspirational books by 10 authors for 99 cents, including Growth Lessons. Right in time for the holidays!

13 thoughts on “My Lessons from NaNoWriMo 2011

  1. This month was wonderful! It was so great getting to know you during the Nano season and finally putting a face to a name. And you’re right–thou shalt not compare yourself because even those you’re comparing yourself to may find themselves comparing to people who can write even more. It never ends!

    To the rest of the year!

  2. lynnkelleyauthor

    Hi Naty, Congratulations on finishing NaNo. I consider you a winner. You made your 50,000 words. That’s awesome. So you can finish it whenever you want. That’s great! Well, I’ve already set the date to launch my children’s chapter book for October 10th, but I’ll try to keep on my toes for NaNo next year. Thanks for the heads up. I didn’t finish NaNo, but I’ll give it a go next year. This was my first time. I need to get familiar with the NaNo site before I try it next year. Tech idiots have a hard time with that stuff! LOL!

    1. Lynn, you may be able to pull it off since you have a year to prepare. I had only a few months to prepare for my launch. Mine launched Oct 17th and by the time I opened my eyes there was Nov 1rst knocking on my door. I’ll look forward to sharing Nano war stories with you next year and I hope great success for your book. Let me know if I can help with any questions about the nano site 🙂

  3. rabbitastrophe

    I am so glad that I met you, muse! You are someone truly amazing and finally putting a face and a voice on your tweets/persona is all of awesomely strange.
    My dear friend, that coconut cake was delicious 🙂

    And you can only compare with yourself since you impose your own limits. Watch you going next year! You’ll impress yourself even more. You’re a beast and rocking nanowrimo every year.

    I can only hope that I’ll be able to see you more in May 🙂

    ❤ you.

  4. Love it :-). I haven’t had a moment to reflect on my experience much beyond the fact that I didn’t finish. But you’ve given me a perspective on the experience as a whole that is eye opening. I’m glad WE connected this year and I look forward to following your career as a writer.

    1. I’m glad we connected too! I know you couldn’t make it to the write ins, but we have 12 months ahead of us and we should coordinate to meet. I’m very grateful for your support and I look forward to following your career as well.

  5. So much fun! Though I did not make it this year, Nano inspired me to bang out the rest of my story, and gave me lots of cool ideas to write about for it. I’m going to try to look for other competitions before Nano next year to keep me fired up. I look forward to keeping up with you Naty!!

    1. It was fun. There’s a few of us that are interested in continuing to meet. I told everyone that we should aim for January, that way the holidays are out of the way and we can have a better picture of where and when it will be convenient for everybody. It was such a blessing to meet you! 🙂

  6. Natalia Gortova

    My favorite part was that you mentioned you hadn’t gained weight during NaNoWriMo!
    Good for you! All those hours at a keyboard with writers block, wondering what snacks are in the kitchen are never good for me!
    Congrats, even if you didn’t hit 50 thou.

    1. Natalia, the trick was fresh fruit. I bought grapes and raspberries and every time the urge came, I tackled the fruit instead of the cookies. Well, and I didn’t buy any oreos because they are like kryptonite to me. I can eat the whole bag in one sitting if left unsupervised…hahaha!

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