Saturday, November 27, 2010

Five (more) Reasons to Write

I did it. The NaNoWriMo, that is. Instead of traveling the pathways of retail with throngs of shoppers, I was inside my house the day after Thanksgiving, writing.

Truthfully, I didn't think I could do it towards the last twenty thousand words or so ... actually, it was more like I didn't think I wanted to do the last twenty thousand. After all, it meant I would have to edit the ugly monster if it went anywhere. And, I think the story may have lacked compelling characters and perfect plot. (Also known as "major issues" with the story.)

But here's the cool part: I have a "book" completed. Hurrah! Not that I'll ever let it grace the eyes of an innocent and unassuming reader. Maybe not even myself, either. Do you know how much groaning and eye-rolling that would require?

Whatever I choose to do (probably leave it on my PC for a long time), here are five things I learned while writing (even 50k words in less than a month) and why it can be good for you too.
  1. You are superwoman (man): Really, writing is tough. We have to come up with something worthy to write about and actually make it sound good. The awesome thing about NaNoWriMo is that my work can read horribly, be so grammatically incorrect and as interesting as a piece of toast, and we are called winners! It's great to feel like superwoman (even if it only lasts a few seconds.)
  2. You learn how to be creative: Making your story come alive is a great way to fuel creativity, especially if you can't afford anything. How? Well, things that you can't do, because lack of funds make it unallowable, is allowable in writing. We live vicariously through our characters, go to places we never visit in real life, and overcome obstacles (that the characters overcome) that we would never have to. That's creative! And hey, maybe applicable to your life one day.
  3. You learn how to be disciplined: This is huge, and a reason why something like only 10% of the NaNoWriMo writers actually complete their novel. It takes an odd sort of dedication to finish something that fast. But this discipline is like using a muscle; once you repeat it enough, it becomes something habitual and useable! I'm learning how to meet deadlines (even if semi-fictitious) learning how to do something I don't want to do (just like exercise) and stretching myself to be a better writer by using these brain "muscles."
  4. You learn that writing is freeing: This is true, you know. Again, like reason number 2, we get to be creative with our art. Writing is almost like being able to live out things we want to say, or do or be, but we don't have to really do it. My back hurt the day after I finished writing my book. Hadn't hurt all month. Do I think this had to do with not being able to free my thoughts? I think so. Free your thoughts, free youself.
  5. You learn to drink lots of coffee without noticing: Okay, so this isn't necessarily a good thing. But I love coffee, so it isn't bad either. Can't tell you how many hundreds of cups of the black stuff I drank and how many times I wondered where it disappeared to. Many writers attest to the disappearance of the drink to some time/space continuum; one they find themselves lost in while immersed in their writing. I fully agree with that theory.
Writing is a wonderful thing, even if it's within the context of a crazy competition, and I'm (hopefully) becoming a better writer. Now, what about you? If you've done NaNo, or just want to share with us your latest endeavor, please do. We are all learning.

Happy writing!

9 comments:

  1. How exciting- congratulations on completing your book! I sure hope I'll be able to read it one day. :)

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  2. Congratulations on winning! I just hit 45K earlier, so I think I'll finish on the last day.

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  3. Good points, and number 3 is REALLY BIG! That is one of my big challenges. Taking a few days off leads to many days off. Discipline!

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  4. Thanks Mindy! I don't know ... maybe. :)
    Sandra, way to go! You can do it.
    Warren, thanks so much for your words. Love looking at your blog too.
    -H

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  5. Heather,
    Good for you! That is an amazing amount of dedication. You did it, girl!

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  6. Wow! You did it! Take a bow. And the lessons you learned were priceless. Now whip that puppy into shape and send it out to publishers so we can all enjoy it. :)

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  7. Amy, thank you! Really, if I can do it, you can do it too.
    Kathi, thanks so much for your encouragement! I might do it ... one day.

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  8. Congratulations! I participated but did not win. I made it to 30,000 words. At first, I was really bummed about it. However, I am still so glad I tried, and I will definitely do it again next year. It was great to be a part of such a large concerted effort to write, and the whole process was empowering. Again, kudos to you!

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