Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Shame Here

Today, I end my NaNoWriMo 2010 experience at 25,000 words. In short, I did not win. But, I did not lose either.

I learned so much about myself as a writer over these thirty days, that there is no way I can think of myself as a loser.

Here are the top ten things I learned from NaNoWriMo 2010:

10. The correct pronunciation of denouement is de-nu-mah, not dey-nu-men like my high school English teacher taught me. But hey, I grew up in the Philippines where we pronounce a lot of other words differently.

9. I can’t sit on my ass writing for more than two hours straight, every night. I need to take a break to stand up and stretch, go pee, tuck someone into bed, or just pick up that toy that’s been sitting in the same spot for over a week.

8. I cannot fly by the seat of my pants, but I cannot be bound by a rigid and overly structured outline either.

7. Writing my ending scene just after I finish my outline and character sheets works for me. Having my ending scene written early on reminded me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, I just had to figure out how to get there. So as of today, my story has a beginning, something in the middle, and an end. While the story is by no means complete, I don’t feel like it’s unfinished.

6. Word sprints work. I write an average of 400 words an hour at a relaxed, leisurely pace. I can write that same amount of words in fifteen minutes if I do a focused word sprint. Fifteen minutes of uncensored, undisturbed, unshackled writing can produce so much. Of course, there is the issue of quality vs. quantity. But NaNoWriMo isn’t about that; it’s about putting down the words. Editing, revision, and refining are what bring out the quality in the end.

5. I can silence my inner critic pretty well. Now, I need to wake her up.

4. All I need is a warm beverage (preferably Milo), and quiet instrumental music (preferably New Age Piano) to get into my writing zone.

3. November is an extremely busy month in my professional, and family life. This month is one of the busiest in the court calendar, my boss goes on an annual conference for a week, my youngest child has a birthday, it is the month with the least number of school days in the entire school year, and Thanksgiving, here in the United States. (Whew! It even felt stressful to just put that on paper.)

2. Writing everyday makes the words flow easier as the days go by.

1. I have the full support of my family to pursue my ambition to write and become a published author someday.

Now tell me, if you learned half as much as I have this month, wouldn’t you think you won too?

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