A NaNoWriMo Update

First, I want to share my NaNoWriMo username so anyone participating can add me: mdsokol. I look forward to getting some new writing buddies!

Second, I want to talk about my NaNoWriMo experience thus far.

I wrote that wonderful blogpost for the kick-off on Monday but as I worked on my WIP that day I struggled to stop self-correcting myself. Why, after 20,000 words did my self-editor start to creep back into my head?

Reason One: I took a whole week break from my WIP. It was partially out of exhaustion (which I’m going to blame on a dwindling amount of coffee in my house) between juggling student teaching (with 9th graders) and my graduate class and being married. When done properly, life is exhausting. During all of this stress, I also battle homesickness. I moved around a lot as a child and was a loner as a teenager, so I’m rather close to my family and because I married an Airman, I’m not able to be around them. This is a bad combination for someone line me. So, holidays are especially hard for me (even Halloween). I ignore it, but it makes me sad to be so far away from my family.

Taking a whole week off made me self-edit because I was out of the habit of giving into crappy, passive sentences just to get my scene out. And really, that’s the point of the break-neck pace of NaNo. Writing every day really does make writing every day easier.

Reason Two: I read “Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View” by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. It’s a wonderful little handbook on POV that I read because I have some POV shifts and it made me think too much about my writing. It’s a handbook for revision, not creation (which she mentions more than once) but I let it feed my inner-editor and I shouldn’t have! As I wrote on the first day sitting next to my friend, Sabrina, I would write a sentence, obsess over it, erase it, re-write it, obsess, and revise it. I had to keep telling myself to stop doing it. I would write a few sentences and than my inner-editor started talking. 4,000 words later, I’m still doing it every once in a while, but I’m making much more progress.

Today, amongst laundry and OCWI duties, I’ve finished the scene I started yesterday, done some rearranging of scenes, and even added a little to an old scene. I have 1000 words left to write and I’m excited to get to work!

How is everyone else doing with their writing goals (for NaNoWriMo or otherwise)? How do you keep to your goals? What holds you back? How do YOU squash your inner-editor as you write?


6 thoughts on “A NaNoWriMo Update

  1. Tyler F.M. Edwards

    I was born without an inner editor. There’s nothing I find more demoralizing than having to redo something I’ve already written, so I avoid it wherever possible. I’m like one of those prima donna actors who gets it right in one take or I’M SULKING IN MY TRAILER DAMMIT.

    This is probably why I write so slowly. Which is, in turn, while I will never be able to attempt the NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m lucky to write a chapter in a month these days. Trying for a whole novel would most certainly kill me.

      1. melanie_unabridged Post author

        I was the same way and then I read “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg last year. Then I looked back at my work from undergrad and thought, “It wasn’t really that perfect anyway.” So why spend so much time obsessing over the first draft? Plus, I fell in love with editing. It became much easier when I didn’t obsess so much before writing.

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