NaNoWriMo Update, And Things I’m Learning in the Process of Writing My First Novel

Alright, sports fans. For those of you at home keeping score, I hit a major milestone with NaNoWriMo yesterday. I officially hit the halfway point!

All I have to say about that is WOO HOO!

I really don’t want to jinx myself by boasting about how well it’s going (far better than I originally anticipated!!) but, according to my NaNo dashboard, I’m right on schedule.

Keep in mind, I haven’t written anything today, so that date should change by the end of the day. Because once I publish this blog, I plan to really dig in and write until around 4:30. Because I’m an addict, that’s why.

I expected to be exhilarated, and possibly daunted, by this process. I also expected to hit plateaus, and to write some stuff that could only be classified as poo. What I DIDN’T expect was to learn some major lessons about myself, as both a writer and a person. I thought I’d share some of those lessons here with you today.

As a Writer, I Have Learned That:

* Being a blog author only fuels my creativity, and my confidence.  I’ve been writing Abby Gabs now for almost a year. When I sat down and created this blog, I made a promise to myself that I was going to try and post at least 5 times a week. And that on days when I woke up and couldn’t think of something to write, I would put on my thinking cap and come up with something worth writing. Granted, sometimes it’s just plain silliness. Other times, my posts have been completely selfish–100% about me. But, in the midst of daily posts, I feel like I’ve written a few that I can really be proud of–ones that really define who I am as a writer, as a woman, and as a wife. With my creativity sparked on an (almost) daily basis, it becomes less difficult to “get into the groove” when I sit down to write my book each day. And the confidence from having a small, but loyal, readership keeps me motivated.

* Google is an invaluable tool. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to my favorite search engine throughout the first part of this process. Considering the fact that I live in rural South Carolina, consider PayLess Shoesource to be premiere shopping, and am stuck in a career that’s less than illustrious, I need a lot of information to fuel my main character. That’s where Google comes in. What kind of dress would a sophisticated business woman wear to a fancy dinner out? If a high-roller were to show up at a restaurant and order Champagne, what label would he choose? What are the most popular wine bars in Manhattan right now?

Oh Google, you complete me.

I’m using my imagination where it counts, believe me. But some things you just can’t dream up. Thanks to Google, my main character is thriving in a believable environment in New York City–a place I’ve only visited once. Thanks, Google. I’ll include you in my “people to thank” section.

* I can hear my own voice through my character. What I mean is, she’s kooky, witty, sarcastic, self-critical, and less than confidant. She struggles with all the same things I do: image and weight issues, discontentment with her career, always doubting her next move. She thrives when she’s allowed to use her creativity; she shuts down when she feels caged when her creativity isn’t needed, or wanted. She is me. Only younger and single, with better clothes and a small apartment in Manhattan. You know…just small differences.

* I write in a linear fashion. From what I understand, this isn’t the norm. Most people jump around in the story, writing scenes as they pop into their heads. I don’t do that. I started at the beginning, and other than one little blip on the radar, I’ve written the story in chronological order.

Not to say that I haven’t come up with ideas for future scenes, and jotted down a few notes to jog my memory when I actually get there. But I’m writing my story the way I’d want to read it. No shuffling necessary. Which will make December (editing month) that much easier. I hope.

I think the most interesting lesson I’ve learned throughout this process, though, is one I’ve learned as a person. And it is, simply, this:

Apparently, size does matter.

Sixty pages of manuscript. And it’s still growing.


2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Update, And Things I’m Learning in the Process of Writing My First Novel

  1. Stephanie

    Woo-hoo! You’re halfway there! I broke 20000 words yesterday and I may have done a little happy dance in front of my computer. (No, sorry. No vlog.) I agree with you that blogging fuels creativity. I actually started my blog because I wanted to be a writer, but I was just so lazy. A blog seemed a manageable way to get into writing every day.

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