What year(s) did you participate in NaNoWriMo?
Tell us if you won or not, and what you learned from the experience
In 2010 I really just sort of observed. In 2011 I set out to complete the 50,000 word challenge. I succeeded! I guess that means I won, after all; I beat myself and my own laziness. What did I learn? Ummmmm…Probably the first thing I learned was that the best way to force yourself to write is to write without solid structure. Plan when you can, but leave your plan open-ended enough that if another avenue becomes available, you take it without worrying about “Oh, is this going to break all my carefully considered notes?”
What specific advice do you have for someone attempting NaNoWriMo ?
Seriously, don’t. It’s not something you attempt. Even if you “fail,” you’re only challenging yourself. It’s an arbitrary challenge, at that. You don’t do NaNoWriMo because you want to write a book. You don’t do it because you have a need to conquer every challenge that comes your way. Challenges only have meaning when they help you get somewhere, and if you “just want to get through it,” or “Just want to give it a try,” then there’re other, much less painful ways I’d suggest you improve your writing!
That said…NaNoWriMo can be fun, awesome, and really help you learn a lot. It can help you learn, like I mentioned earlier, about notes. One important thing is to “break through” writer’s block by writing what comes to mind. Edit later. Second, I found that if you get a really good jump on the word requirement (Say, you get 10-15K out of the way within the first few days), and you can push ahead early while exploiting the strongest time of that “no solid plan, no corners to write into” sphere, you’ll have a pretty good shot of making it.
In your opinion who do you think is a good fit to do the challenge and who is is *not* for.
…Wow. Okay. Clearly the previous question jumped up to this one. The challenge isn’t for anyone who isn’t already versed in writing, it isn’t fit for anyone who just is bored and trying to kill time. It’s also, paradoxically, not for anyone who has no time whatsover. You have to write something like 3,000 words a day. If you can’t do that, even under the duress of a deadline (okay, an artificial one), then you’re screwed and it’s best not to try.
I’m a newly-promoted 28 year old writer from Long Island, New York. I write a blog about my hometown, Freeport, that’s over two years old. My latest novel is Physics Incarnate. I’m working on other projects, and I have other novels out as well. I like to leave things up to the readers’ imagination; I lifeguard and work as an educator by day, write by night, and am always coming up with ideas. You do the math.