NaNoWriMo 2015: Challenge Reflections

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Just over half a month into the NaNoWriMo challenge, I have realized the difficulty in writing (even just free writing) on ideas that have not fully developed.  I have applied most of my spare time over these first two-odd weeks to writing, while challenging on some days, I was able to get some words on paper for most of these days.  The one-month challenge has taught me many things about my writing process that I will be applying to other works.

  1. I found that I don’t write well on a timeline.  Even if I have a little spare time, I don’t always feel motivated to achieve a goal.  On the other hand, I sometime exceed my own goal if I am feeling especially creative.  To stave off procrastination, I have looser deadlines, which I am confident that I will meet.
  2. My writing is very non-linear.  When a great idea pops into my head, I jot it down into my notes and start expanding the idea immediately.  Sometimes this ends up disturbing the flow of my writing, but I find my best work is driven by the thoughts that motivate me in the moment.  In this challenge, I found myself skipping around way too much and had to confine myself to a more linear style of writing.
  3. There are so many wonderful bloggers out there in this writing month and I feel proud to have tried to match some of the output that you are able to create.  I found it extremely motivating to know that other people are putting out a few thousand words a day; it had a positive effect on my own determination.  I think if I was in a different situation, I really could have completed the challenge.
  4. I miss reading, sports, and TV shows.  With all my spare time spent on one outlet, I started to miss all the other little things that I enjoy.  With less of my free time dedicated just to sitting at a computer to type, I would feel a lot better.

For me, writing is an outlet for my creativity and I would like to keep it as enjoyable as possible.  Thus, I have decided to spend the rest of the month (and future months) working on my original non-fiction novel at my own pace and reading up on other writing techniques.  I don’t see my actions as a failure in the slightest, as I had learnt a lot from the experience. In the end, I don’t think this challenge was the right thing for me to do, but I am glad that I attempted it.  Some quick links that caught my eye:

Ted-Ed: How to write fiction that comes alive

Creative Writing Tips

Best of luck to everyone trying to reach their writing goals!

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