Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Giant Step Closer to The End

National Novel Writing Month officially ended November 30th at midnight and I skated in on the 29th with 50,140 words. Yay!! Although not quite finished my novel, participating in NaNoWriMo was an amazing time of writing and discipline. I'm thankful that I took the challenge. It taught me several things.

1. I can write when I don't "feel" like writing.
2. I'm able to work under a deadline.
3. Even if the words are not pure perfection, write anyway.
4. I can ignore the words that are not pure perfection and press on. Until the edit phase…
5. Amazing things happen when you let go and let the characters have their way. {grin}

Steps that helped me accomplish this feat.

1. Created daily achievable goals.
a. Decided on number of words – 50,000
b. Decided how many days of the month for writing. In my case, I used weekdays only.
c. Divided the number of days into the amount of words and came up with a daily word
d. I created a spreadsheet with my daily cumulative goals and documented the numbers. Each morning I loaded the spreadsheet at the same time I loaded my manuscript. At any time, I could use the spreadsheet to quickly calculate how many words I needed to reach that day's goal.

2. Prayed
Each morning before I started writing, I prayed for God's words to flow from my fingers. Asked for His blessing on the writing.

3. Commitment
Committing each day to writing a specific number of words, helped me stay in the story and press through the "low" spots. Also committing to "finishing the race…"

4. Community
Knowing others were working as hard and under many of the same issues, made the journey easier.

5. Writing anyway—
Even when I knew the words were not the absolute best, when the dialogue lacked a little something, when I didn't feel like being creative, when I would have liked to do something else (like clean the bathroom), I learned to press on to meet the goals I'd set.

In other words, I gave myself permission to write.

To just write.

To open that vein and pour out the words. Sent my internal editor on an extended vacation where there were no communication lines! Let the story unfold. There's plenty of time later to bring the editor home and add or delete as needed.

To all of you who participated this year and met the 50K mark – A hearty Congratulations!!!

To those who didn't quite reach the mark -- Congratulations you've added to your story!

1 comment:

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

Congratulations on your NaNoWriMo accomplishment...what a BIG accomplishment writing 50,000 words in just 30 days.