*My feelings in totality*
After a month where I probably gained about 10 pounds due to a peanut butter concentrated diet and lack of exercise besides pressing my fingers up and down. I have finally accomplished the allusive goal of writing a 50,000 word nonfiction novel. I’m extremely proud of myself. That is not to say I’m proud of what I’ve written, it’s mostly word vomit, but finishing in the designated time and writing something more than Gibberish that makes me wanna…SHOUT! KICK MY HEELS UP AND SHOUT! THOW MY HANDS UP AND SHOUT! THROW MY HEAD BACK AND SHOUT! COME ON NOW SHOUT!
I’m dancing right now and kind of like they do in Elle Me Dit (watch it). I’m not the blondy with red attire singing the first lyrics. I’m the guy with white hair shaving doing the I-do-not-know-how-to-dance-but-no-one-can-see-me-so-who-cares dance.
This may sound a bit delirious so I apologize. But I thought I’d give some insight to my readers while it’s still fresh in my mind.
Whatsa I Learned
1. The most fun thing about writing a novel yourself is that you can make up your own words and not follow conventional writing techniques or grammar. I didn’t deviate much from the norm because it makes for far less to remember if you go with conventions as well as you don’t distract the reader from your writing. Mostly I only used made-up things to help me develop a character’s voice or because due to the time limit, I didn’t remember exactly what something was about or how it was spelled.
2. You can’t edit as you go. You just have to keep writing. Being a perfectionist, this took me awhile to get use to. I often wanted to give up since I thought my writing was absolute trash.
3. Which brings me to point number three, NaNoWriMo is gruesome. You think it’s all butterflies and smiles…but then you realize how annoying butterflies can be always flapping their wings in your face and that it’s actually possible to get charlie horses in your face from smiling too much. In more simple words, it’s emotionally difficult to try to write that much in such a short period of time. Why? Because you are forgoing time that could be spent with family, friends, pets, swimming, drawing, hiking, biking, eating etc. All things that would perhaps give you more immediate pleasure than writing another 1667 words.
4. But when in doubt get someone you think will tell your writing is awesome to come read part of it and tell you your writing is awesome. Ego boosts are a definite need especially when you are giving up on yourself. I also figured out that when I got really down I could look a passage over and edit it a bit and see that it wasn’t that bad.
5. You can’t reward yourself any more than every 200 words. If you go for anything more than that, you often give up and just eat the chocolate cake or go on Facebook. Setting yourself realistic goals and expectations is important. Don’t be overly ambitious. Seriously.
6. Don’t write about something you don’t know about. First of all, it doesn’t come across as realistic, plausible, or interesting if you don’t know what you are talking about. Second of all you don’t have enough time to do research to make something you don’t know seem realistic, plausible, or interesting.
7. I realize now some huge flaws in the way I write and the way I wrote it. I think that’s part of the point. What makes you a better writer is lots of writing.
8. Lastly, just do it.
About my story: This PG13 realistic work of fiction is about five different people, a little boy who loves The Lorax, two high school teens –typical girl, typical boy–, a physics and philosophy teacher, and a marketing consultant/artist, developing, learning, understanding, and well living.
I’m not completely satisfied with my writing so far thus I’ll give myself a month or two to edit it, but I’ll post excerpts by each character in the mean time.
First off: Opening lines from the marketing consultant and artist (though not of the book)