Row80 and NaNoWriMo Lessons

Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo

I took the last week or so off, from writing and most blogging.  NaNo took a lot out of me, having it near the Holiday season just made it worse.  But there were a few lessons learned:

  1. Plotting is key, for me.  It takes a little work ahead of time, but it saves my sanity along the way.  That doesn’t mean I won’t have to work through a few plot holes or makes changes, I still have a few of those.  Plotting just makes the writing process easier.
  2. I can schedule a time for writing and the world won’t explode and the laundry won’t bury us.  Although, I thought dirty socks might smother us for a while there.  Carving out a bit of time each morning, before work or house work made writing easier.  I knew first thing I needed to write, and I did.  Like exercising a muscle, the repetitive use of my “writing muscles” made it easier.  They expected to be used each day and I looked forward to it.
  3. I can not write well with my husband and children in the room.  On Saturdays, I had to try to write with them home.  My husband likes to read over my shoulder and my kids….well they’re kids.  They run around, make a lot of noise, and constantly ask questions.  That was a valuable lesson learned.
  4. I don’t need a lot of stuff to write.  I kept my notes, plot chart, and character charts in a small satchel.  I had book 1, in the series, on my hard drive and printed in a notebook, also in my bag.  That’s it.  Not counting snacks.  I left my grammar guides and writings books on the shelf in another room.  They just distracted me.  I can pull those out later when I edit.  Also know as Rewrite January!
  5. Writing is a habit.  This goes along with #2.  When you form a habit, you become accustomed to it, like breathing or eating popcorn during a movie.  It makes writing easier.
  6. I learned I can write a novel in a month.  It’s ugly and needs edits, rewrites, and additions.  But the basic novel and structure is there.  It’s not any worse than the first book, which took a year or more to write.  When finished, I think it will be better.  I’m not one of those writer’s who produce a “clean” first draft.  Persona;;y, I think that’s an urban myth.

There you go.  Lessons from NaNoWriMo.  On to Row80:

  • Writing:  Done.  I am working on the plot for a short Novella, with the same group of characters.
  • Editing: Finish editing my WIP, Dead in the Water. Finish edits by October 21. Done
  • Submissions: Start submissions October 22  Nov.1, send out 2 a week the rest of the round.  Stop laughing….think positive. Nada.
  • Social networking: This is the hardest.  I am bad at just liking a post or a tweet and leaving.  So my goal for this is to respond more to blog posts, even reblogging, and be more involved on twitter. That’s not measurable.  Comment on 3 blogs a week. Check (I think)
  • Blogging: Have 2 nonRow80 blog posts a week.  Power of a good book 12/9
  • Coffee: Master my new coffee pot.  Apparently there is a learning curve.  Done

There you are.  I think I’m doing pretty good.  Although, Starbucks has seen me more than my coffee pot.  The Peppermint Mocha they have is amazing!  With Christmas around the corner, my posting my be sporadic.  Keep checking back.

How are your goals coming?


4 thoughts on “Row80 and NaNoWriMo Lessons

  1. Hi! I’m glad to hear you’ve mastered your new coffee pot! I’m sure being properly caffeinated, even from Starbucks, has helped a bit. ;-D Way to go, though, crossing off so many of those goals! You should be proud of your progress. 🙂 And hey, if you want me to, I can follow you on Twitter and nudge you to say things every day or so. 😀 I’m easy to find on Twitter (@TammyJRizzo), and I almost never shut up when I’m there. Then again, I almost never shut up in real life, too ….


  2. I kept nodding in agreement with what you learned thru NaNoWriMo. Altho I didn’t finish one – i was working on several and then started a new one that I love – the daily writing really feeds itself. Congrats on all you’ve achieved!


  3. Thank you for posting those lessons learned from NaNoWriMo. I did finish this year (first time I actually broke 50,000), but I’m still reeling from I guess the effort and the job ahead of revising. But that discipline of writing all out every day has pushed my boundaries. I’m also right with you on the social networking . . . but we’ll set goals and persevere. Happy week ahead. Write on!


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