21 Things I learned about writing from NaNo 2016

WHAT-ilearned-from-nanowrimo

I learned A LOT from writing my first novella this November. Each person writes differently, and each person learns differently, but I’d like to share what I learned, so it could help you.

Here’s what I learned about how I write and about writing in general.

bread breakfast food chocolate bar coffee cup sugar powder table

1. Most people, including me, write better when they’re eating. (Unless, of course, they get too enamored in the food – then they only think about the food. Problem number one.

2. Heat = blood flow = oxygen to the brain = better thinking = better writing

3. I have a special talent: I write in many styles and my characters have several different accents. One Native American has a southern, a country, and an East-Atlantic accent, all in the same book. Talent I tell you.

4. Editing is going to be fun. (YES, I’M BEING SARCASTIC.)

5. It helps to increase your word count by cheerleading. Say you start with a goal of 1k. Here’s what you have to say to yourself while you write: “Hey, what’s 100 words?” *reaches 100* “200 is just as easy!” *reaches 200* “300 is an essay, baby, you can do it!” *hits 300* “Might as well aim a little higher here – why not 500?” *gets 500* “Hey, you’re halfway through! Don’t stop now!” *gets 600 and eats snacks* “YOU’RE OVER HALF DONE KEEP ON!” *700* “Hey, only 300 words left to go! It’s a cinch! Come on, come on!” *reaches 900* “YOU’RE ALMOST DONE, ARIA, YOU’RE ALMOST DONE!”
At least it works for me.

6. I can type 50k in one month even if my keyboard is WHOOP WHOOP. (umm, yeah, because in reality – it was broken. It was missing the “O” key and was driving me crazy the first half of the month, but now I am a missing key typing ninja. Because it’s still missing.)

7. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like writing.

8. And it’s good to not write if you don’t feel like writing. Because if you do force yourself to write – everything turns out stiff and you, the storyteller, are not invisible That’s especially bad if you’re writing in third person.

White Orange and Gray Tabby Cat Lying on Gray Textile

9. Writing is tiring.

10. It takes me 2 hours to write 1.5k words.

11. Except if I’m tired and being slowly drained from inspiration. Then it takes me 2 hours to write 3 words.

12. I don’t stare off into space.

13. I stare into the mirror. (there is a mirror above my desk, I kid you not.)

14. If you can’t decide if you want your novel to be in first or third person (I don’t particularly care myself for second person novels), try switching between the two. When you edit, you can decide what is best. You may even decide to keep it that way, which I think is a different touch.

15. Don’t eat food with your fingers while you’re writing. Especially sticky food. Then you have to get up to wash your hands which diverts your mind from your writing and then you have a slight problem.

Young woman thinking with pen while working / studying at her desk

16. It’s good to take a five-minute break if you can’t come up with anything.

17. Don’t keep your novel completely to yourself. It’s really handy to have a writing buddy who you can talk about your novel to – I find that when I’m talking about my novel and sharing snippets, I get immensely excited to keep on writing.

18. The middle is the hardest part to write.

19. Keep a notebook with you always, and don’t forget a pen. Ideas come at the most inconvenient times.

20. Sometimes if you’re stuck, you need to just keep writing. One scene may lead to another and you may not know until you’re there.

21. Having visual inspiration helps a lot.

22. Your story will surprise you.

//what did you learn from NaNo, if you did it?//
//are you a writer?//
//can you relate to any of these?//

singing off,

purrfectly inspired (1)

Related posts:

6 thoughts on “21 Things I learned about writing from NaNo 2016

  1. Allison says:

    You have some great tips, Aria! Especially #19. WHY does that always happen when I’m trying to SLEEP?! XD Aww, I’m so, so happy you linked to my writing post! Thank you so much!
    So when do you think you’ll start editing your novella? *rubs hands* XD XD

    • Aria says:

      Thanks! Ugh, I KNOW! It drives me crazy! And you’re totally welcome – I’m definitely re-reading your post before I go to edit. :)
      Hmmm…I’m taking a 6-week break right now to refresh myself and come back to the book anew. So I think mid-January? It will probably take me a month or a month and a half before it’s ready to self-publish. :)

      • Allison says:

        Ha ha, right? Aww, thank you! ♥♥
        Sounds good! Do you know when Misty is publishing her book? I was pretty sure it was in December sometime, but I haven’t heard any news about it lately…

  2. Catharine Runion says:

    Cool! I, too, am a writer, but I didn’t do NaNo. I think I should do it next year. When I do, I’ll keep these things in mind! Most of the stories I have ideas for, I jot down the first chapter, but then forget all about it. Bleh. I mostly do poetry.

Comments are closed.