For those who have not heard, I was inspired by the national novel writing month. I thought, what better way to get started writing? I was right; it was a good way to start. Unfortunately for me, I have never been much of a writer or reader for that matter.
Lessons Learned – I will blog in more detail later about these 7 lessons, but for now here they are.
1st – Good stories take time. Most of the 30 days I was developing mythology, history, and learning who my characters are. Now that I know I can start telling the story.
2nd – I lost heart about chapter 5. I had a good story, but I could see my ability to translate that story into words was weak.
3rd – I am more creative when I am happy than when I am stressed or afraid. It was hard to find my voice from stress and fear of failure.
4th – It is very helpful to have support when you lose faith in yourself. Someone who can put things into perspective and cheer you on.
5th – Even though I didn’t like what I produced, it is not wasted. Even if I have to remove those chapters from my book. I learned about some of my characters, my writing style, my mistakes and can improve now that I know.
6th – The rules for entertaining are very different when your performance is dependent on the words you choose for your book, than the visuals, lighting, music and sounds on the stage. I need to take time to learn how to apply entertaining rules to writing.
7th – Disabilities can be a strength if we let them. You can’t let anything hold you back. Being unique can attract new readers.
Life Happens – Just because I want to write a book in 30 days doesn’t mean life stops or even slows down.
1st – Some times life gets busier. Christmas time is not the best month for me to take on a 30 day novel. I want to have family time more than writing time.
2nd – I home school my toddler, preschooler, and kindergartener. Finding time to write with 3 kids under 6 can be difficult; add homeschooling to the mix and it can be near impossible.
3rd – Starting more than one writing goal in the same month can be overwhelming. I also decided to start blogging this December. Consequently I spent most of my writing time blogging not noveling. I have heard that blogging is kind of like a warm up for the big things like a novel. So I don’t feel bad about it.
4th – Another factor that was difficult for me was the fact that this novel was to be a gift for my husband. I was not able to create with him or share really any of my story ideas with him. I have found I am more creative when I have someone to create with me and bounce ideas off of.
So Now What?
Although I did not start and finish a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I am happy with what I accomplished. It was what I needed to get started. I will someday tell the story I found in those 30 days, but for now it is not the most pressing goal I have in my life right now. I need to raise my kids and practice my writing and get blogging. Yes I will continue to work on my story but it will be a year-long project this next year. I have a great start and look forward to finding the rest of the story. What are the lessons you learned or advice you would give to a beginning author?