Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Bittersweet Graduation - Author Life

So the wonderful month of November and the beauty that is NaNoWriMo starts in just a few days.

But a few years ago, I thought I didn't need NaNoWriMo anymore. I thought I'd share my feelings about it in a Throwback Thursday post. Enjoy.

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So... This NaNoWriMo was not very successful. We have three more days before Camp NaNoWriMo is finished and I'm nowhere near my word count.

But you know what? That's okay. NaNo got me started on a novel. I outlined a novel. It got me started on a short story too.

The problem is, as I move through the story, I can sometimes see fundamental problems with it. For example, this short story I'm writing kept getting stuck. It seemed like the story had too much word vomit and not enough story in it. So revamped it in the middle of NaNoWriMo and lost over half my words. Then it got stuck again and I revamped it again. By that point, I was 10,000 words behind NaNoWriMo.

And that's when I realized I don't need NaNo anymore.

The first time I ever tackled NaNoWriMo, it was because I was stuck. I had redone the opening of my first novel probably fifteen times and never got beyond the first ten pages. Then I discovered NaNoWriMo and I wrote for it. Several years later, I had the first drafts of my first five novels.

But now I'm learning how to set aside time for writing on my own. I'm learning how to recognize snags and how to revamp to avoid those snags. I'm learning how to edit as I go without hurting my manuscript.

I've graduated from NaNoWriMo. I no longer need it to force myself to work on a draft.

It's a bittersweet graduation.

I'm eternally grateful for all NaNoWriMo has done for me. Without it, I never would be looking at possible publication. But at the same time, I doubt I'll be using it again. I don't need to. I've got other methods now.

So, NaNoWriMo, please don't take it personally. You've been great to me. But I need to move on.

And trust me, it's not you. It's me.

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Ironically, now I'm intending to do NaNoWriMo this year. o_o Apparently I still need discipline!

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