Sunday, February 3, 2013

What I Learned from NaNoWriMo

My first year to participate in NaNoWriMo was 2001.  What is NaNoWriMo?  National Novel Writing Month.  Check it out here  I haven't done it in more than a few years now, but I sure would like to again.  I think 2013 is my year.  The pemise of Nano is to get aurthors to write and finish a book of no less than 50,000 words during the month of November.  Sounds a bit crazy I know.  Many authors sit for months writing a book.  I know a few people trying to write books at the moment and they are busy with outlines and notes and sometimes they write.  They also edit while they write.  Nano will give you a different perspective on writing.  Their point...just write.  Do as much as you can, as fast as you can.  As the thoughts come...just commit to them and go with with it.  I have participated 4 times in the project and successfully finished twice.  Now what I need is a National Novel Publishing Month because I have two is particulary good...and I have not done anything to publish them yet.  The same fear or hesitation that keeps authors from writing is keeping me from publishing...when will it end?

Well, I propose that it end in March.  I am already in to February and I want to make sure I allow myself enough time to actually get it done.  So March 2013 will be my Personal Novel Publishing Month. it's been said.

So what I learned from NaNoWriMo is to stop overthinking and second guessing yourself because you will never get anywhere.  Just do, or write, or act on the ideas that come through your head and you're bound to make more progress.  Will you make mistakes too?  Probably...but at least you won't be sitting in the same spot 5 years from now still wondering if you should do 'X'. 

One other interesting thing about Nano is that when I started, it was tiny.  There were maybe 1,000 participants.  It was headquartered in San Francisco, which is where I lived at the time.  When the month was over, I went to the NaNoWriMo party.  It was fascinating to meet the other authors and we all got a chance to read one page of each other's novels.  I look at NaNoWriMo now and it is a huge international event.  I wonder if Chris Baty (the founder) ever thought his project would become so big.  It started in 1999 with only 21 participants...friends of Chris Baty.  Now there are hundreds of thousands of participants from all over the world.  It's really impressive how just one, small, simple idea has blossomed into what it has.  So my goal for myself and what I want to pass onto you is to act on your good matter how small.  Don't overthink where it's going.  Just pour yourself into the moment and let things evolve from there.  A good idea that you remain committed to will likely go places.

On another topic, yesterday I did something I have never done before...I signed up to be my son's soccer coach.  I have been a teacher, but never a coach.  To be honest, I don't even know all the rules of soccer, but it's not like I will be coaching The LA Galaxy or anything.  I went to the first coaching meeting yesterday and met some very nice people.  There were a lot of people willing to help me out and give me tips.  I think it will be a great season with my little group of 6 year old boys.  It's a small idea and a small step towards being involved and seeing where life leads you.  I will keep you posted on the progress of my Rowdy Rockets!

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