This year I promised myself to go beyond my comfort zone, or more importantly, what I considered ‘safe’, to embrace the adventure and see where it took me.
It didn’t work out as well as I hoped.
Taking chances includes disasters. You don’t read about the people who didn’t make it. Failing doesn’t make good storytelling, but it is part of the path towards success, to find out what works and what doesn’t work. (And I excel at finding out what doesn’t work).
Get help. Help takes on many forms, not just the help of other people who know what they are doing, but also the encounters with choices, or finding meaning in anything from a quote to a story. Ask for advice, weed out the unhelpful criticism, and move forward.
Rise from the ashes. This is difficult if you don’t have wings, so even if you have to stagger and stumble out of the ashes, that works too. The important thing is that you keep trying, changing your plans if necessary, in order to keep moving forward.
I wish Life was more like a story, where you encounter the Hero’s Journey, where stumbling is only a setback, where you find a the Guide to help you, and where you may not triumph but you do change for the better.
What are your thoughts on this topic; post in comments.
Filed under Goals, Writer
The NaoNoWriMo, known as The National Novel Writing Month, was started in 1999 by Creative writer, Chris Baty. (see No Plot? No Problem!).
If you check out the web site, it explains the basic rules of writing fiction of 50,000 in thirty days in any genre, including fanfiction.
Back in 2007, I completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I learned a great deal, however, I’m not sure if I’d dedicate that sort of time again. Grueling, time consuming, I found myself not enjoying the writing process at all. It was much like boot camp; forcing you to write through pain, doubt, and everything else.
But others take on the NaNoWriMo almost every year, and I often suggest writers try it at least once for the experience, to see what you learn about yourself. Even if you fail to reach the 50,000 words in 30 days challenge, you still gain insight into yourself.
- Get writing done early in the day. I set my time for this because if things come up, you still have the rest of the day to make up the word count.
- Get friends and family on board. My first time, I ended up friending someone who ended up teasing me when I fell behind- DO NOT DO THAT. You want a support system, not naysayers or competition. You want encouragement, not someone to cut you down.
- Have your plot and characters planned out before November 1. In 2011, I tried NaNoWriMo but had nothing planned and quit a week into it. It was too stretched between ideas and plot changes to accomplish much. Have the most basic of conflict>climax>resolution outlined.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. You can make up the word count on a weekend or tacking on writing time throughout the week.
- Even if you don’t reach the 50,000, the process can still prove valuable as a learning tool, as well giving you a block of writing you can edit later.
Post in comments your own experience with the NaNoWriMo, if you plan to join this year, or questions/comments about it.
Filed under Nanowrimo, tip