Reflections on my NaNoWriMo experience

Last November I took part in National Novel Writing Month. I successfully wrote a 50,000+ word novel during the month. It took a lot of work, and a lot of discipline to write every day. It was a bit odd, creativity-wise. At times, I had to write despite not feeling very creative, and sometimes it actually ended up helping. Writing even though I didn’t feel like it sometimes resulted in something great, sometimes not so great. It reminds me of a quote from Linus Pauling, who said that the best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas, and throw away the bad ones.

The throwing away didn’t happen during the month, since it’s an all-out effort to get to 50k. Editing would have to wait. But the good ideas were there, amongst the bad. Since then I’ve noticed that I’ve had fewer good ideas – since I haven’t been writing every day, I’ve had fewer ideas total. That’s one reason why I challenged myself to write a blog post every day – to spur more ideas through the discipline of writing every day. Hopefully the proportion of good ideas increases over time, but I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, sorry for the not-so-good ones. It’s part of the process.


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