I'm a writer because I have stage fright.
This is my first time participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I’ve kept up so far. In all fairness, writing full-time is my job. That being said, I find NaNoWriMo to be an interesting challenge. Writing 50,000 words in a month is doable but difficult.
I finished a bit ahead of the daily word count curve last night. I’m unhappy with my descriptions of some of my most important scenes so far, though, so I’ll have to go back and edit that in December. Also, I need to work on some of the characters so they aren’t flat.
I’m excited to introduce the inciting incident today, which will turn my main character’s world upside down. How would you feel if you were forced to leave your home and your family and live with a bunch of privileged people that hate you? That’s what Alexa will be dealing with after I finish the scene I am writing today.
While the novel is coming along okay, I have to make two points that will definitely be unpopular.
First, while NaNoWriMo has a ton of great and supportive events, I find them to be really distracting. I don’t mean to criticize the events. They tend to be fun and exciting as well as encouraging. Still, when I take the time to check the NaNo blog, Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube channel, and main site, I’ve spent way too much time on social media — one of the things I struggle with already as I research the writing industry. I’ve tried to spend less time on these sites to achieve my daily word count goal and only check them during designated times throughout the day.
Second, the amount of complaining is surprising. While I understand that writing is a difficult process, I find complaining about it to be a total waste of energy. Fuel that frustration into your scenes, your characters, separate pieces, writing challenges given on people’s blogs (mine, for example, or Chuck’s terribleminds), crafts, your dinner tonight, whatever. I’m not judging anyone. Social media helps us speak our mind and I respect that. I tend to critique certain aspects of the writing industry. But overall I think we should find ways to fuel our negative energy into positive and productive energy. It makes me want to use the hashtag #NoComplaintsNaNo whenever I write about my novel on Twitter, but it comes off as a little too condescending, so I think I’ll refrain from doing that.
Overall, NaNoWriMo is an enjoyable experience and I’m glad to participate. If I can meet the goal this year, I might seriously consider doing it next year as well. May you all find success on your own individual journeys.
Other NaNoWriMo posts: