On Friday night, I went to my first NaNoWriMo Write In.
Let's just say...I had plenty of action going on in my head like the Disney movie, Inside Out. I think I experienced the full gamut of emotions that night.
What I learned from the experience:
1. I have no ability in speed-writing. I barely reached the half-way mark of each goal set. If they said 1200 words in 26 minutes, I got a little less than 600. Really, how could I write anything worth reading again in that ratio?? For me, I just couldn't. And I am not one to slash thousands of words at the editing stage. I might as well start over. So after hour three, I stopped trying to write fast and just get my story out as best as possible. I like the process of applying meaning to every scene, thinking a bit and deciding what my character's motive is and how to get her from point a to b. I can't flesh that out in twenty minutes. Give me a two hour bench mark, and I'll show you something, but 20 minutes? No bueno for Miss. Slow-Pantster.
2. I've missed out on the writing community in my area. I had NO IDEA that so many people in my area were working on a novel. Wow, I get most of my writing encouragement online, but to get it face to face? That's pretty cool. It's always good to be in community.
3. Time is precious to a Mama-Writer. If I am going to step away from family life to write for five hours, then I expect to do just that...write. And for a NaNoWriMo Write In? I better not expect to do just that. It really is a social-spurring on, a snack attack, and a race against the clock--in small spurts. I could've left after the first race, and found a quiet nook in the empty library to hash out a few chapters on my own, but I chose to stick it out in the group. And while I didn't get as much written as I hope, I don't feel like I really wasted my time. I got a sense of inspiration--a glimpse that others out there cared about getting their stories out--and I am a slow, methodical writer when I often call myself a pantster. Nope. Not me. I need it planned out to get going. Learn something new every day.
Happy NaNoWriMo to you if you're writing! I hope you beat the clock tonight and get more word count...and a few more!