Steve Chatterton
Will Write for Food
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Camp NaNoWriMo Aftermath

May 2nd, 2014 by Steve

2014-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Well, my first NaNoWriMo experience has come to an end, and I’m pretty happy with the results. I set myself a goal of writing 10,000 words in the month of April and I managed to pump out 11,265. Not too shabby. Here’s a quick run down of what I got out of the experience…

  1. Lower goals are more attainable
    – I chose the rock-bottom lowest commitment you could make, and I made it. In fact, I beat it 12%. Not too shabby. I was in a cabin of 12 writers, and I managed the second highest output in the cabin. Of course, we all got schooled by the woman who managed 25,243 words, but I’m pretty my current lifestyle wouldn’t let me devote that much energy into writing. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
     
  2. Mixed goals are good
    – I came into last month knowing I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to write. Several of my cabin-mates were of the same mind, and collectively we decided that it was total output that mattered. Some people were working on poetry and blogging and novels, and in the end we just said anything goes. I initially thought of working on a collection of short stories, figuring that shouldn’t tax me too much. Then I got an idea for a novel, and I got several thousand words into it as well. But then I couldn’t help writing a few slightly humourous essays based on my real life experiences, and that’s the stuff that really resonated with me. By allowing myself freedom to poke around, I may have come closer to actually finding my niche and my voice.
     
  3. Writing is a commitment that requires dedication
    – Five of the twelve writers in my cabin ended the month with a total word count of zero. This hobby requires some time management skill to say the least.
     
  4. Scrivener rocks!
    – I used a demo version of a program called Scrivener and I loved it. I wouldn’t want to write with anything else now.
     
  5. That bug bit me
    – Now that I’m learning to take advantage of random quiet moments to organize my thoughts on the page I don’t think I ever want to stop. I spend my busy time re-thinking sentence structures, looking for the best way to phrase things when I get a moment to get it all down.
     
  6. It all adds up
    – If I can keep up a rate of 10k/mo, I’ll be on target to finish 120k/yr. Considering that my focus is on short essays now, by the end of a year I should easily have enough decent material to fill a book, a thought that both delights and terrifies me just a little.

 

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