November was National Novel Writing Month and I decided that I wanted to give it a try. The goal was to write 50,000 words throughout the month, creating a rough draft of a novel. When I got started, I knew that it was going to be very difficult. With a newborn in the house, time to sit down and write was tough to come by. In addition, there was my wedding anniversary, birthdays, and Thanksgiving demanding my time and attention.
With limited time to write, I set aside a little time each day and pounded away on my laptop. In the early stages of the month I was able to keep up with the roughly 1,700 word daily guideline. As the month pressed on, I began to fall behind and had to spend additional time on the weekends to catch up. To keep me motivated, I wrote daily blog posts in an effort to keep my eye on the prize.
When the busy portion of the month showed itself, I fell hopelessly behind. For several days I was unable to write anything and lost all motivation to continue. When the closing bell sounded and National Novel Writing Month was over, I had only written a mere 18,000 words. Despite failing, I learned a few important lessons.
- Writing novel is much more difficult than short stories
- Having the time to sit down and write on a daily basis is a blessing
- Without a firm outline, my stories tend to wander off target and require heavy editing
- I need to pour ny thoughts onto the page and worry about editing later
I was not pleased with the outcome of the project, but I think that I will give it another try next year. Perhaps starting the planning stages more than a week ahead of time, I’ll spend a little less time outlining and more time writing come November. This post, although planned for weeks ago, was prompted by a comment from A Well Aged Cuban.
Comment from A Well Aged Cuban:
Hi Walt, nice to see you back.
Like you my things to read list is never ending, there is always something else on the horizon that I must read…and I love it.
What happened with that writing thing you were doing in November? Hope you plan to get back to your writing as well when you have more time, you seem to have a flair for it. Anyway, happy new year and I hope parenthood is agreeing with you.