Less than 5,000 words keep me from becoming a true novelist at midnight tomorrow. Without NaNoWriMo, I probably would’ve never written so much.

 

The added pressure of a deadline was the real pusher, and I suggest that young writers give themselves a time limit and see how much they can write.

 

I’m going to record how much I write every 30 days and try to beat it in the next 30!

 

Here are a few other lessons NaNoWriMo taught me.

 

To be a writer, one must constantly be writing.

This was the most important lesson of a full month of non-stop work: keep going.

 

Take inspiration and keep forging ahead

Looking to others’ work — as I did when I was frustrated and hit a creative drought — has its place, but so does simply writing through the tough, tiring moments.

Also, typing out thoughts half-asleep can produce some great stuff!

Listen to the critic... a little

Take criticism; but if you feel good about a bit of your story someone else doesn’t, keep it in there. Not everyone understands your style.

But also realize that your favourite part with the moonlight kiss on the beaches of Fiji may not work in a story taking place in space. Or maybe it will. If it feels right, keep it as a really expensive, romantic astronaut honeymoon.

You could even title the book, Honey, Moon. Maybe I’ll start writing that on Dec. 1.