5 Valuable Lessons NaNoWriMo Taught Me


We have just completed Day #8 of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for November of 2014 and NaNoWriMo Taught Me Five Valuable Lessons.  


My first time taking this challenge I wanted to make sure I followed the rules and did as the seasoned writers had suggested, with one exception; I was going to write my novel “by the seat of my pants.” 


It’s how I write my articles, my blog posts, my random thoughts and stories and pretty much everything I have ever written in my life.


Well, in 8 days I have learned 5 lessons about writing and this challenge.

1.  If you have never written a novel before, DON’T go the “pantster” route, especially the first time.

2.  Planning a novel in your head and making scattered notes is a cruel joke to play on yourself.

3.  Don’t plan on every day being as productive as the day before. Some days you will write many, many words and some days you just won’t.

4.  Writing a novel is nothing like writing instructional books or manuals.

5.  Don’t Give Up!


As you may or may not know most of my writing so far has been instructional in nature and step by step guides.  No characters, no plot lines, no time frames and no dialogue.  


About the only thing that a novel and a guide has in common are details.  Details in a novel get scattered out all over the place if you haven’t made an outline or a definitive plan you may never find an end to the story.  Details in a guide are pretty much cut and dry, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, etc.  


One other very important thing I have learned is that if you let it and become totally immersed in your story line and become one with your character, writing does become much easier.  


I have read and heard quotes for years about writing the story of your character but until you actually sit down and write and create a character; a person; a life, then you will not understand the force that takes hold of you and your thoughts while writing a novel.

To become one with your character is to-3

To become one with your character is to stand in their shoes and travel the journey they call life.  It is only then that you can tell their story in your own words.

(c) 2014 Monna Ellithorpe


How many times have you read a novel and have become so involved in what is happening with the main character of the book?  You find yourself cheering them on, rooting for them and creating ideas of what you think may be coming up as you read.  


Now imagine you are the creator of the character and the writer of the story.  You can begin with a single person in mind to create your character about or they may have the same qualities of someone you know but as you proceed deeper and deeper into your story. 


You find that you are becoming one with your character and either they show you the life they are living or you give situations a nudge in the direction you want.


Sounds really deep and profound, doesn’t it?


This is what I am experiencing with my first attempt at joining the NaNoWriMo Challenge of 2014. 


There are 21 more days in the challenge and I may or may not make the 50 thousand word goal but this is an experience in writing that I would not change for anything in the world right now.  


I would like to wish success to the many participants in NaNoWriMo this year and especially to the first timers, such as myself, do not give up for any reason.


Whether you complete the 50k word count or not, this is a momentous occasion in your life, even if its your first and only novel you ever write or the 5th, 10th or 12th novel that follows;


You Only Write The First One “Once.”  


arrow5-aI would really appreciate if you found value in this piece to share it with your friends and your social networks.  


Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”  —Ray Bradbury, WD






5 Valuable Lessons NaNoWriMo Taught Me