A few thoughts on Nano…

Before I launch into this year’s Nano, I thought that it would be good to spend some time on a blog entry to talk a little about process. It helps for me to have a clarifying post and while I’m not sure about other writers, I know that one of the things I always wonder about writers I know is “well, how do THEY do it?” (Like many authors, I am an inherantly, if secretly, nosy person at heart.)

My three personal goals for Nano:

1) I plan to write every single day. Unlike others, I’m not concentrating on word count. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that but it doesn’t work for me. I find that failure to meet word count, for me, often turns into feeling like I failed. Writing isn’t about that but rather, about finding your own path to the story you want to tell.

My main goal is to finish a chapter a week. That’s more than enough to be getting on with. 🙂

2) I will encourage myself FOR writing every single day. It doesn’t matter if I write one sentence. It doesn’t matter if I write 4000 words. There are days in every writer’s life where just sitting down and writing that single sentence–only doing that much is the accomplishment. And it’s important to celebrate yourself for writing.

My daughter Amaranth told me after I finished the Universal Mirror as I was having a moment of panic about whether or not I could sell it that it didn’t matter. She pointed out that the real accomplishment was the fact that I’d written the novel and that was what my family and I should be proud of. Fantastic advice from a 14 year-old girl and advice that I’ll hold close to my heart always.

3) Even if I don’t like the story at points, even if I hate my characters, I will keep going. There comes a crisis point for me with every bit of writing I do where I think it’s awful (then I look back on it and doesn’t understand why I believed that). If I have to set that chapter aside and write “finish this later” at the end in order to keep going, I will do that and be unafraid.

There is always the editing process, after all.

…so those are my three goals. What about the rest of you?


4 thoughts on “A few thoughts on Nano…

  1. Hi Gwen,
    Good advice Gwen, I am participating in namowrimo for the first time and I hope to write each day until the end. That in itself is a huge challenge for me, as I am not a consistent writer.
    Congrats on your novel! Keep up the good work!

    • Hi, Kim,

      Thanks for the support! 🙂 I wasn’t a consistent writer before I focused on using these “points” but I found that it really helped for me. I can’t say enough that really using the 30 days to get in the habit of writing daily is the best thing I take from the experience. Good luck with your novel–hope to hear more about it!


  2. It’s funny because I started working on Souljourner last year for Nano. Since I had written plenty of short stories with word counts as high as 5000 words in one day, I figured, how hard could it be? Then came the reality check. It’s one thing to have a flow of words like that once in a while, but real life gets in the way, other ideas invade, etc. So I’ve been working on the novel since then. It’s back from the editors and I’m slogging through revisions. I’m also working on a book trailer, and other marketing tools. My goal this month is to actually get it finished and released. This goal is achievable, but will take everything I’ve got since I work full-time, go to school, and have a family who, surprise, wants my attention from time-to-time. That leaves lunch hours, and evenings. Oh, and since I need to have 800 words written each week for my writing class, I’ve already started the next novel. Sleep…sleep is good too!

    • I completely hear you on this. I’m waiting for my revisions back on my first novel and kind of expect that to derail me some. 🙂 Congrats on releasing your own!

      How is doing a book trailer going? I want to do one for the Universal Mirror but I’m not yet sure where to start. Do you have any advice?

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