I is for Insights

woodstock typewriter

Back in November I participated in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for those who are too busy for all those extra syllables. After I hit 50,000 words and got myself certified as a ‘winner,’ I dutifully printed out the month’s work and tucked it away. The plan was to get some rest and some perspective, and return to it in January. I even made up a schedule with milestones and deadlines and everything.

Are you familiar with that Douglas Adams quote about deadlines?

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

It’s been a little bit like that around here. So around March 21, I decided that there was nothing for it but to take on way more than I could possibly accomplish, and by the end of the month I had signed up for not one but two big April challenges.

And here we are. April 11 and I haven’t collapsed in a heap yet. For my money, that’s a win. Not only have I successfully shared an alphabetically-appropriate blog post every day (except Sunday, because even people who bite off more than they can chew get a day off) but I have also started to make a real dent in the unfinished work that I began in November. And over the course of the last six or so months, I have also gained some valuable insights, including:

  1. All of the preparation I did before starting these projects got me ready, but it didn’t actually prepare me. Schedules and outlines are great, but everything changed once I started actually writing. On the other hand, if I hadn’t done the prep work, I would really be up the creek. It’s weird.
  2. Writing 2000 words a day is both harder and easier than I expected. The first 500 or so words are the hardest. The last 500 words go pretty fast. At 2000 words, I am exhausted and need a nap.
  3. I am, suddenly, a terrible judge of my own writing. Other folks say things like ‘This scene I am working on is so boring’ or ‘My main character isn’t acting right’ and all I can think is ‘How can you tell?’ This is not usually the case when I write, but then, I don’t usually write the way I am writing right now.
  4. There is an abundance of good writing/blogging advice and encouragement available online. More appears all the time. A person could spend hours every day reading it, but then when would they actually write? Getting caught up on reading it all is a permanent fixture on my to-do list.
  5. Poetry! Who knew? Probably the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me so far this month is how big a part poetry has played – sharing my own, and sharing and exploring the work of others. If you had asked me about poetry back in February, I would probably have said that I don’t really think about it much. Turns out that I do, though, and I have a lot of favorites that I want to share.


Has April brought you any interesting insights?


 (Photo of vintage typewriter advertisement – with performance guarantee! – by Don O’Brien at Flickr.)

(Posted today as my Day 9 entry in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge)





This entry was posted in Challenges, Miscellany, Tools and tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I is for Insights

  1. Juli Hoffman says:

    Yes! The writing has given me insights, as well as reading other blog posts. April’s A to Z Challenge has been such a positive experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did NaNoWriMo a few years ago, and it nearly killed me. I’ve published several books since then and left the dreadful November manuscript to collect dust. 😉

    Visiting from the A-Z Challenge. I’m doing it with seven of my blogs this year.

    Here are a few of them:
    Heart of a Ready Writer
    Kicking MS to the Curb
    Working in Words
    Fad to the Bone – Dog Products Revue

    Happy A-Z!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s really interesting. My NaNo effort could very well amount to nothing, but the process is sure to be a good learning experience, if nothing else. Going back to the work feels good, too.
      But seven blogs? That is very impressive. I can barely keep up with the one. I look forward to checking out some of your stuff. Have a good month.


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