Yolanda Ridge

Children's Author

NaNo… Oh No!

on December 1, 2012

It’s NaNoWriMo confession time…. my word count total (drum roll please)…

12,000 words.

Shocking, I know.

My congratulations to all the writers who achieved their writing goals this month.  I’m sorry I can not count myself among your ranks.

Here’s are a few of the reasons that NaNoWriMo didn’t work for me;

  1. In addition to being novel writing month, November is also the start of cold and flu season.  And those pesky germs are hard to avoid when you have two 6-year-olds.
  2. I was invited to do two presentations this month – both very exciting opportunities for me!  But they both required preparation (if I could add the words from my power point presentation to my total count I’d be up there… but still nowhere near 50,000.)
  3. I didn’t outline.  And I’ve learned that I need to do an outline because I can’t keep writing if I know there are major plot points that need to be changed.
  4. I didn’t do enough research.  This was my first attempt at writing historical fiction.  As I started writing I realized I had to know more about the time period to get the voice right.  And there is no point in getting the words down if the voice is all wrong – in my opinion.
  5. I am a bit of a control freak.  I can’t stand piles of laundry, a dirty house, or store bought meals.

Not rocket science, I know, but that was my experience.  This year.  Maybe I’ll give it a try again next year – with a different outcome.  But I’ll probably wait until those 6-year-olds are a little more capable of fending for themselves.  In other words, give me a decade.  Or two.

That’s not to say that I regret participating in NaNoWriMo 2012.   I’ve learned that the writing process is different for every person and for every project.  I know my writing self a little better now.  Plus, I got a lot of work done.  Even if it doesn’t show in the word count.

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