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6 things I have learnt from NaNoWriMo so far

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. There are six things I learnt from NaNoWriMo so far, and I want to share them with you.

1. There’s no reason why I should spend time and energy on kicking out my inner critic. While it would be great if he could leave me alone forever, I bet it won’t happen. Rather than spending time and energy on getting rid of him, I’d focus on what I need to do: writing.

2. If you don’t know what your aim is, you can be driven by your inner critic. So, make it clear to yourself what your aim is. For me, it’s simply to write 50000 words of something. Yes. Something. In fact, it’s more like a playground for myself rather than a novel for someone else to read, really.

3. My inner critic tells me that what I’ve written so far doesn’t make much sense, but that’s fine. I’ll keep writing anyway. I’m happy to let my storyteller of this novel be imperfect. We make mistakes and forget things sometimes when we tell stories; why should we expect our storytellers to be perfect?

4. By “focusing on writing”, I mean what it means. I will do no editing when I write or during November. So, it’s pretty much as though I’m splashing words inside me onto a digital scroll of paper so I can have fun spotting something actually nice and pretty on it.

5. Discipline is important. I have been writing everyday, but I need to have a better discipline. For example, I’m writing this blog post on a text editor, and I’ve got 8 tabs open on Firefox; they are completely unnecessary and irrelevant to this post. I tend to do that when writing for NaNoWriMo as well. If I had a better discipline and focus, I would be able to focus more on writing.

6. It’s fun to spend my time on writing. I used to think of stories and wrote poems when I was much younger. I spent the last 8 years on academic writing, including my honours thesis and master’s thesis. Writing these (philosophy) theses helped me sharpen my writing skills in English, but I hardly wrote for fun. I came to love writing through this blog as well as NaNoWriMo.

At the time of writing this post, I wrote 6009 words. I’m slightly behind, but I’ll try my best.

If you are part of NaNoWriMo, how are you going with your project? I’m sure you have something you learnt no matter whether you are a first timer like me or an expert. What did you learn so far? I’m curious about your experiences!

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