Thank you for following along with as I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. I am an official winner with 50,218 words total. I was in danger of not being able to finish on time as of the morning of November 29th. But, in the final two days, I wrote over 10,000 words. I was determined to finish successfully, and I do work better under pressure. So, mission complete and I have a draft for my fourth book. At my moment I envision it will be book one in a new series.
What I learned from NaNoWriMo. First, Scrivener works better on a mac. I have both an Apple laptop and an HP laptop, a surface pro. Don’t even try using Scrivener on a Surface. I also have tried not using Scrivener and just using Word. And being a pantser (writing without outlining or other pre-writing organization) Scriven helps me at least some semblance of pre-planning my story which does help. I can put character profiles with pictures in the same place that can be easily accessed for reference. I can make note cards rather than an outline, write scenes as they come to me and easily reorder them later. So I have switched back to using my MacBook full time. I also, enjoy using iMovie for making book trailers but that is outside of my NaNoWriMo experience.
Second I learned, or rather had re-enforced is that I work better and looming deadline. Tell me I have 30 days to do something and it will take me all 30 days, so I need to set shorter goals for myself. I managed 10,110 in two days, 8,000 of those words were written on the 30th. So I had to sit back and think. Wow, I worked my day job both days and still managed to write 8,000 words in one day. Plus, still, have family time and dinner etc. Why don’t I do that all the time? If I can even boost it to 10,000 words a day imagine how much my productivity will increase. So lesson learned “get it done.” Now, admittedly I didn’t blog on the 29th because I was writing so, need to have a more set schedule for doing social media tasks like blogging. My facebook, twitter and Instagram book-related posts are prescheduled. I set them usually on Sundays for the upcoming week. I do post other items as they come up during the week on those platforms. I use Buffer to pre-schedule my social media posts. I do not pre-schedule my blot posts those I write and post in real time.
Third, I learned is Scrivener has a voice to text feature. I need to try that and see how accurate that is going to be. My first test of it was not that successful, but I wasn’t using a dedicated microphone. And I was at work so I was talking quietly so no one would hear me. I want to try it again in a more private setting to see if the speech recognition is any better. I hope so because that could potentially allow me to get more words in a day.
Fourth, I learned was even though you may be writing to a deadline or in crunch time. You need to take time for yourself. Go to a museum or otherwise walk away from your work. It is healthy for your body but also your mind. Seemingly unrelated activities can help spark creative ideas. One of my favorite places to go for inspiration is the Mariner’s Museum. Where I live we have a motto of ‘From the Sea to the Stars’ and that couldn’t be truer at the Mariner’s Museum. Seeing the restoration of the Monitor and related artifacts, the history of cruise liners like the Titanic and various sailing vessels both old and recent high-tech like the Oracle sailing team boat and America’s Cup provides me with a ton of inspiration.
The take-away from the November challenge is to challenge myself every day to improve my writing and productivity. My next challenge is to write 3,000 a day this week. If I can meet that challenge I will increase my personal goal the following week.
I hope you have enjoyed following along and if you haven’t already sign-up for my monthly newsletter for freebies and advance notice and access to my work.