I’m not doing Nanowrimo this year. Between college applications, keeping up with school work, and writing the second draft of my untitled WIP, I feel like I don’t have the time. Still, with Nanowrimo upon us, I’ve been reflecting on last year when I somehow managed to write 50k words in thirty days. Nanowrimo taught me a very, very, important lesson on writing: it doesn’t have to be perfect.
My novel from last year was actually my first novel. It’s still a mess. I cringe every time I open the document and see every writing mistake, plot-hole, and continuity error. I’m rewriting it now and it’s barely the same story, but at least the bones are there. At least I know where I’m going. I have an outline now (and I’m still deviating from it a lot). I know my characters better. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself. I’m okay with making errors.
When I started writing my novel, I felt like everything had to be perfect on the first draft. At least most everything. I knew there would be some grammatical errors that I could fix in the editing stages. I didn’t know anything about writing, but I was trying to write almost 2k words every day.
It only took the first day for me to know I didn’t have to have everything perfect. I just had to write it. I’d be rewriting, revising, and editing later. Nanowrimo is about writing a first draft, getting your story down. It’s the first step to sharing your story with the world.