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Things I Learned About Myself in November

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Last month I decided to explore a different realm of writing besides blogging, and I joined NaNoWrimo. I was writing a novel. In one month. Yeah, I know what you are thinking.

During this one month I not only attempted to write a novel, I also did some self-analysis, self-exploration and self-beating. As usual, I multitasked.

I also re-evaluated my opinions about certain writers. My respect for those who start to write a novel and actually finish it grew exponentially. I gained huge respect for Stephanie Meyer and her nauseatingly cheesy Twilight saga. At least, she was able to produce over 100K words that formed some sort of plot line. I acquired a different point of view towards the awfully crappy and painful (in many ways) erotica by E.L.James and Fifty Shades of Grey. You know why? Because they finished their novels. It does not matter that the novels are bad or good, poorly written or masterfully crafted. “Finished” is the key word here.

The following are the discoveries that resulted from all the multitasking I did last month.

Discovery #1: No Discipline

Writing is not an easy craft as it is, but writing a novel requires a lot of discipline. I do not possess such. Even if my creativity is soaring, and I know exactly what I am going to write, in reality it does not mean that I will sit down and write. Do you have to force yourself to sit down at night and pump out a 500 word blog post? Try writing about 2000 words every single day. Not everyone is cut out for it.

Discovery #2: No Sense of Accomplishment

Sense of accomplishment is a very powerful driving force in anything I do. It is a small daily success. Maybe I simply love the finished product. Writing bits and pieces of a novel did not make me feel accomplished. I felt stuck somewhere in the middle, and I was not achieving anything. The feeling was unsettling.

Discovery #3: No Attention

Writing is a lonely art. You sit down in front of your computer, you proceed writing your story. You are alone with your words. There is no one who comes to read it (until it is written and polished to perfection) and says to you “hey, this is good stuff” or “I don’t really agree with it.” I have to admit I love to get feedback from my readers. I love to receive comments. I love emails. Ok, fine, I’ll admit that I love attention. I am not a writer who can write when no one reads them. I write the best when people read me.

Discovery # 4: No “Thank You”

Writing a novel is thankless work. No one is going to send me emails, saying “thank you for writing this post because I also have a shopping addiction problem but I cannot talk to anyone about it because I am ashamed.” These words go beyond a simple “thank you.” These words make me feel important and my writing worth something. Writing a novel? Not so much!

Discovery #5: “Can” Does Not Equal “Should”

Just because you love writing, it does not mean that you have to write a novel. Just because your grammar is better than Bob’s or your own sister’s, it does not mean you have to become a novel writer. Just because you can write, does not mean you should.

If you ever attempted or (God bless you!) wrote a novel, share your thoughts with me!

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