Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Lessons from NaNoWriMo: You Have to Start Somewhere

- By Catherine Gregoire

As the Communications and Marketing Intern at The Writer’s Center, I spend most of my time writing social media posts and blog articles, and assisting with editing, emailing, and digital marketing. However, for National Novel Writing Month, I decided to branch out from my regular duties. That’s right; I decided to try my hand at writing 50,000 words in 30 days!

The novel I chose to work on tells the story of a young woman who discovers she has magical powers because she is left-handed. To date, I’ve written a little more than 7000 words, and I think that’s great! But, it became clear to me that I won’t be able write an additional 40,000+ words before the month’s out, so I’m adjusting my original goal accordingly. #NaNoWriMo Lesson #1: be flexible.

I decided to try out NaNoWriMo this year because it would be a new experience. Going in, I had an inkling that I wouldn’t be able to reach the magical 50,000 words. I knew that, with my busy lifestyle, the odds were stacked against me. But when it comes to writing, are we really racing to reach a goal? Some of us will pen those 50,000 words by November 30. Some of us won’t. But in the end, we all win. Why?  Because we wrote something. In fact, this was just the kind of push I needed to start working on my novel. That’s really what this is all about, giving writers a reason to start.

During my time as an intern, I’ve found that The Writer’s Center jumpstarts many a writing career. TWC instructors work to help their students unleash their creative storytelling potentials. As writer’s, that’s what we need most, people and opportunities to give us a reason to take that first step.

It’s productive to obsess about progress and push, push, push ourselves, but it’s also productive to say, “screw it!” and let our writing take its natural course.

Whatever NaNoWriMo stage that you’re at right now, be proud of it. Be satisfied, but don’t be complacent. Keep pushing #NaNoWriMo Warriors, you’ve come too far to give up now!

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