Benefits of NaNoWriMo 2020, at the halfway mark

Learning from NaNoWriMo and hopefully keeping these habits moving forward.

We’re about halfway through the month of November, a month in which writers buckle down and set themselves to the seemingly herculean task of writing a novel in a month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. In my previous post, I outlined the rules of engagement that Tiffany and I had set out when we began our 2020 NaNoWriMo journey. We both have had small personal failures but we’re still on track and here’s what I’m taking away from it. 

I’m making writing a priority

It’s forced me to make writing a priority. This is a goal I’ve set and I want to accomplish it! As a result, it has me adding writing time to my to do list, cranking it out early in the morning, as I’m doing right now, or removing myself from the couch at the end of a hard, rough day to crank out just one blog post, because I can do this. 

With making writing a priority with my time, other things have had to go. Specifically, if I’m writing early in the morning, I’m not working out early in the morning. While this is fine for a work day, I need to move my body, it’s an imperative for my mental health and to feel fully present and me, so working out the kinks on that has been hard. I’m considering that as I “get ready” for work [I work from home at the moment, hence the quotation marks] that I should be “getting ready” for gym time and set a priority to workout at lunch. It hasn’t worked so far, I’ve been getting stuck in my work to-do list and not extracting myself for some physical exercise. (Plus the rain here in Philly is just not helping!) So that’s a work in progress. 

While others are writing whole novels, I’m simply trying to build those writing muscles.

My creative juices are flowing

I have been thoroughly enjoying how it’s challenged me to be thinking about this blog more. I have so many ideas for what I want to do with it, and yet I give it so little execution time, setting myself up for failure. At the moment, I’m considering writer’s workshop weekends again. They were great times for me to schedule posts to go out, take artsy photos of books and write and film book reviews, which I believe you guys enjoyed! So I’m brainstorming ways to structure my time to get back on that horse, so stay tuned. 

I’m seeking the advice of others

Finding a good routine and fostering a creative space is not easy. There’s no right answer and we’re all just doing it. But seeing what other people do is a nice way to perform some trial and error. So, I’m looking for more books on writing. Some of the ones I’ve previously read that have stuck with me: 

Meanwhile, those I’m looking to read include one that’s been on my shelf for a while, Writing Down the Bones, Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memior of the Craft, and Sontag: Her Life and Work, which I purchased earlier this year after it won a Pulitzer.  I hope to pull inspiration from all of these sources and really put my nose to the grindstone. Perhaps we’ll even be talking about me writing a full novel next November! 

What do you think? How is your NaNoWriMo going? 

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