Wow. I knew it had been a while since my last post, but over a month! Goodness! It’s time to get back on the ball.
Everything with school is finally settling into a more normal rhythm. Teaching writing and literature courses always means quite a bit of reading (as does fixing the eLearning Campus, resetting passwords, etc.), so I’ve spent most of my extra time away from the computer screen or on quality time with my first novel. (We’ve been getting along quite well lately.)
As school slows down, though, a new season is springing up. In only thirteen days, National Novel Writing Month begins.
My aunt told me about it three years ago. I mentioned it in passing to my sixth grade students, and one joined me. Last year, I considered not participating, but the student who had joined me the previous year and a couple of others had their hearts set on the challenge and so I went through with it. Now, a small posse of aspiring middle school and high school novelists are popping up at my school and plan on participating this year. Needless to say, I have a feeling this will remain a regular part of my writing life for the rest of my life.
Every November as I race to beat the deadline, I’ve found that I learn something new. This year, I’m hoping to share some of my knowledge with the stalwart students (and anyone else in the blogosphere) who intends on joining the challenge. So here are a few tips from one repeat NaNoWriMo participant:
- Just write. It’s okay if that first sentence is lousy or if you found a major plot hole halfway through. Just keep writing. It’s just a rough draft. You can edit later.
- Write a little every day. Even if it’s not the prescribed 1,667 words, it’s still something.
- Keep your priorities straight. For you students out there, that means your school work comes first. Always. ; )
- Stop writing for the day before you run out of ideas. If you have an idea of where to start during your next writing stint, it makes your writing time far more productive than if you use all of your ideas in one sitting.
- Don’t stress if it’s November 30th, and you haven’t reached 50,000 words. The fact that you tried is an accomplishment that few can boast. But make sure that you finish that draft. After all the work you’ve put in, you owe it to yourself.
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Have some words of wisdom to help others who are taking up the challenge?