May 5, 2014

3 Lessons I Learned in April's Camp NaNoWriMo

Two people writing by candle light
Web badge from  Camp NaNoWriMo

    This past April I set out to work on my main writing project.  My goal  was to write a mini encyclopedia for myself.  To put the details of the world, countries, fauna, and flora all in one file.  As it is a fantasy world, with magic and cultures all its own, there are many details to keep track of.  I succeeded in getting some good information down.  However I failed to reach my word count goal or write on it everyday as I had intended.  This is what I learned about my writing during April.

    First of all there was too much on my plate to really focus on burning though a word count.  Not because there was no time, but because I did not have the organization skills to really move everything around to allow time each day.  Organization skills are incredibly useful.  They can be especially important as our lives become more and more busy.  Clearly I need to work on mine more.

    As for the project in question, I mulled over the story itself extensively.  I made some mental breakthroughs on the plot and character motivations.  What did I not do?  Write it down.  Why did I not write these things down?  Several reasons.  I didn't have access to writing materials at the moment of thinking of many of the ideas.  It is frowned upon to stop working and start writing at the day job.  Got to keep workin'.  But the day job gives me plenty of time to think through my story along with other writings.  When I did get back to my desk there were a few other things that got in my way.  I had deadlines on some of the other projects, so they came first.  Here is where it gets silly.  What I had brainstormed did not go with the world building encyclopedia.   As it would not contribute to the Camp NaNoWriMo word count part of me thought of it as a waste of time.  This among other silly little excuses for not writing what was in my head is just silly.  That is right I said, EXCUSES.  I should have written what I was inspired to write and I shouldn't have let all the excuses get in the way of me doing that.  Because now I am going to have to make time to write out all those details and hope that I remember them all.

    So overall I learned three lessons this April about my writing.

  1. Learn to be more organized with time and schedules.  
  2. Don't allow excuses to keep you from writing..
  3. Write what you are inspired to write.  (Don't ignore your muse)

    I hope you can learn from my mistakes.  Are there any lessons you have learned from your writing recently?  Or are there any lessons you have learned about your writing that have really stuck with you through the years?

Writing Exercise: Utilizing your senses 

    There are five senses.  Sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.  How many of these senses do you use in your writing on a regular basis?  Pick one of the senses.  Take some paper, a laptop, or a note book with you and find a place to write about.  Sit down in the location and ignore all the other senses.  Depending on which sense you chose you may want to take ear plugs or a blind fold (or just shut your eyes.)  Write about the location in as much detail as you can using only the sense you selected.


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