What 3 days of Nano Has Taught Me

Karate kid


I write this knowing full well I have 800 more words to write to meet my NanWriMo target for the day. So excuse me if I make this brief.

So what have I learnt in the opening 3 days of my first official NaNoWriMo? Firstly, and this is a big one, don’t do this alone. Take a team of nutty writing friends with you. You are going to hit lows, your hands are going to ache, you will not make your targets. At those times, you need your team of fellow writers and Nannonites to cheer you on, to wipe your snot and tears or to help you find your big girl panties. Having a group of people in real life or online who are committed to the same goal as you are, makes the burden of the goal a little lighter and provides at least a  smidgen of accountability.

Secondly and lastly (hey, it’s only been three days, epiphanies come in measured doses!) I believe I’ve discovered that this whole exercises has little to do with the actual book you’re writing. It has SO much more to do with the practice and meditation of writing that your are now coalescing into a sustainable habit. You have to write EVERYDAY. That’s the deal with Nano, if you have any chance of attaining that 50 000 word goal you can’t afford to skip many days in a row. So for the most part you are bound everyday to site in one spot and think about and type the story you hope to tell.

This is the Mr Miyagi moment – because WHAT you’re typing and the story you are telling right now… doesn’t matter. You are “waxing on and waxing off” young Nano-san. You are learning how to slip into the writer mindset as well as practicing the discipline of making time to write. The finished product you’re left with at the end of this month means very little in comparison to the lesson you will learn and the confidence you will gain if you stick with the process every day for a whole month.

Here is a lovely podcast by M G Leonard. A big thank you to Cristy Zinn for sharing it originally. Let her tell you a little more about the process and not the product that will eventually get where you want to go.


Helga Pearson is somewhat embarrassed by the fact that she has FOUR cats. She should really be embarrassed by her tendency to overshare about the books she is currently reading. She occasionally writes as well - but she's not sure yet if she should be embarrassed by this.

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