Since said post, I have written over 8,000 words of my NEW NaNoWriMo novel and I'm still feeling really good about it. And since I'm feeling so blessed and inspired, I want to talk about what I've learned so far this November.
1. It's never too late to start over.
Okay, maybe November 29th is too late to begin a new novel for NaNoWriMo. As a writer though, I need to trust my instincts. There is no gain to be had in writing a book that doesn't work. If a project you're working on is a bust, give it up and move on. Note: it is not okay to use this lesson as an excuse to quit all your projects before you're finished with them.
2. It is sometimes perfectly acceptable to go back and edit what you've written before laying down more chunks of story.
I wrote a scene last night that on the first pass came out all dialogue. Instead of pressing on to the next scene, I went back and re-worked it, filling in the story around the dialogue. I also try to skim through what I've already written before I begin my new writing for the day. Then I can either flag issues that can be worked out later in the story or go back and change what really needs to be changed.
The difficult part of this one for me is not line-editing. I have a hard time taking in the big picture without adjusting all the minute details. Perhaps this is because I am a proofreader by day. It's hard to strike the right balance.
3. A healthy diet actually makes writing easier.
A healthy diet makes just about everything easier. I'm no health guru but I can tell you that eating a relatively balanced diet and not over eating (especially sugary things, for me) makes your brain work better. I've known this for years but it strikes me as a revelation every time I manage to reign in my addiction to ice cream.
4. Getting rid of television and making the internet a pain to access can really help increase productivity.
How many times would I have abandoned my writing for the night in favor of catching up on Castle or Modern Family? Probably a lot. But since I don't have a television and don't have a data package on my phone that will accomodate all of my guilty pleasures, I've been pretty much off television since I canceled it. The internet is a different story, because I can still get on Facebook and Twitter (and Blogger, clearly) and find other ways to waste time but a spotty 3G connection oftentimes makes it not worth the effort.
What lessons has November brought you so far?