On Winning KazNoWriMo- Let’s not lose sight!

Today is December 1st, which means that KazNoWriMo is officially over. Did I meet my 30,000 word goal? You bet! *Throws confetti* *Does cartwheels* *Blows airhorn* I topped out at 30,049 words, which comes out to be 34 complete pages and a few lines. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s 34 full, single-spaced pages in size 11 font without any paragraph or dialogue breaks and with one space after each period. In a month. From just scribbling things down whenever I had an idea to writing 1,000 words a day. Not to brag or anything, but I am so proud of myself!

Now, don’t get too excited. The story is nowhere near complete and what I do have is incredibly unedited. It’s terrible writing. There are plot holes, the characters aren’t well developed, and the dialogue isn’t clever or catchy at all. But this is zero draft. It’s not even a first draft, which implies that there’s been some editing and there’s a complete story. No, this is just a semi-collected spewing of words and ideas that need some serious work. It’s not even in order—the beginning scene is next to a scene from near the end, and there’s a big scene in the middle that’s strewn throughout and all over. Definitely not fit for human consumption. But I’m still proud of it ‘cause it’s ALL MINE!

This next month is for finishing the story. I don’t know if I’ll get a 1,000 words in each day; sometimes it may be more, some days it may be less. But I owe it to myself and my characters to complete their story, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. After that, it’s all rewriting, which will be more difficult than writing the story in the first place, but one step at a time. As my picture says, there is still much to be done, but I’m not losing sight!

I’ve learned a lot in the past month, about myself, about writing, about myself while writing. I’ve discovered that I work best writing by hand. I can crank out 1,000 words in less than an hour scrawling in my steno pad, but it takes me almost twice as long to get that much done on the computer. I blame the Internet and my ADD. I’ve also realized that I can really write anywhere. At work, at home, standing waiting in Wal-Mart on Black Friday with a ton of noisy, crazy, pushy people all around—I can do it. This was a real surprise to me. I’ve always been able to read in any situation, but I need a little less distraction when I’m working. Apparently this isn’t the case with writing. And I do my best work late at night. That’s also weird for me, since I’m a morning person, but I really hit my stride between 10:00 and midnight. Whatever, I’m not really complaining. In regards to writing in general, my advice is to remember that you need to get up and move around. Sitting for hours in the same position, hunched over your laptop can give you a real crick in the neck. And bruises? You wouldn’t think you could get bruises from not doing anything, but there you go. Two, purple sore spots on the backs of my calves, that I finally realized was from having my legs propped up for so long on the coffee table. Talk about pathetic.

General advice for your aspiring writers and for busy grad students: yogurt. Yep, yogurt. That stuffs better than Raman Noodles. Maybe a little bit more expensive, but hey! No preparation! Seriously though, yogurt has become the new staple in my diet. It’s easy to grab when it’s one o’clock in the morning and you realize you’re starving, or when you’ve been typing all morning and you realize that you forgot to eat breakfast. Plus, it’s at least somewhat healthy for you. I’ve actually lost weight sitting on my butt all day! Concerning other foods, this month has not been kind. I even managed to mess up macaroni and cheese. It still tasted fine, but I was kind of like, “Really? Mac and cheese? I suck at cooking.”

I have a whole bunch of other random odds and ends that I’ve learned this month, but this post is long enough as it is. Check back for Round 2 tomorrow and read about my hate for dark furniture, my obsession with Pinterest, and the Muppets movie.


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