NaNoWriMo 2015: Key Takeaways from Bloggers

I was reading through other people’s NaNoWriMo posts and I was ecstatic when I learnt that Water for Elephants (the novel) was written during one of these challenges.

One of my favorite reads
One of my favorite reads

Here’s what I learnt from reading some of my fellow bloggers:

  1. NaNoWriMo is about the output.  You are meant to spit words out.  Multiple blog posts express anguish at the inability to edit (myself included) while attempting to write 50,000 words.  Nobody is satisfied with how their sentences sound, so there is no point in feeling like you’re producing bad literature.
  2. There are some brilliant works that came out of NaNoWriMo.  See here for some examples.
  3. NaNoWriMo tackles procrastination.  By setting concrete goals, community support, and “winning” by completing the 50 000 words, NaNoWriMo is a great motivational tool.
  4. I have seen some people blogging about participating in NaNoWriMo for multiple years and I think it is inspiring that they are able to complete the challenge multiple times.
  5. Reaching a point where you struggle to put fingers to keyboard is part of the experience.  It just happens earlier for some people.
  6. Taking time to produce some sort of outline for your novel will help you consistently improve that word count.  I find my writing a bit repetitive without an outline.

Its technically the start of day 3 for me in my marathon that is NaNoWriMo and I’m already feeling tired.  I have not prepared for this marathon and I’m figuring out that I probably should have bought running shoes and trained for a few months.  Yesterday, I was needed for an hour of overtime and then headed straight to volleyball.  Driving, preparing dinner, and a shower took until 11pm at which I sat down with the best intentions to pound out a thousand words.  I dozed off at about 500, putting my grand total at 2600 words.  I’m proud that I didn’t turn on the TV instead of writing.  Not very impressive but I hope to catch up this weekend.

This is how I feel
How I’m starting to feel

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I participated a couple years ago and didn’t make it to the 50K mark, but I did get to 30K, which I’m not too unhappy about 🙂 Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. clevertrev says:

      Thanks! I think just the process of writing as much as 30k is a good experience. I don’t think I’ve ever gone past about 15k.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think making it past 10K at all is already quite a feat


  2. alymcf says:

    One thing I have found really helps is having an idea I’m excited about beforehand. Then I just let myself speculate and let my characters talk to each other. I can almost work out an entire plot just from letting the characters interact with each other. And dialog…dialog just flows.

    I hope your NaNoWriMo experience goes well this year!


    1. clevertrev says:

      Thanks for the advice! I wish I had such an idea before NaNoWriMo started, but I found out on November 1st and started right away. Next time, I intend to plan much better. I’ll try to use your suggestion this month.

      Happy writing to you as well!


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