Three Lessons I Learned During NaNoWriMo

By D. Lanier Shook                         November 24, 2014

Saturday at 2:07 pm (Eastern Standard Time) I finished my NaNoWriMo novel. It came in at 53,118 words (that’s about thirty chapters and approximately 200 words). I’ve spent the two days since in recovery mode. Writing is fun, but it is hard work. Here are several lessons I learned from NaNoWriMo


The novel I finished on Saturday was the culmination of two years preparation. Like anything in life, Victory favors Preparation. In this case, I had outlined my manuscript down to the paragraph.


Obviously I haven’t been blogging for the past few weeks. Although I’m going to return to blogging, novel writing has required other sacrifices. My theater going has dropped to a fifth of what it was. I rarely watch a DVD. Why? Because writing fiction is worth the sacrifice.


The best way to become a great writer is to practice seat of pants style writing: Seat of pants against Seat of chair. Nothing replaces the skill you learn from crafting plots and themes, creating characters and outlines, and writing thousands of words. My fifty thousand word manuscript was preceded by many, many shorter pieces.

For more information about writing visit my writing blog at

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