Writing Wednesday: On Writing – Tips learned from NaNoWriMo

Looking at the history of my blog, I realize that I have not written as often as I would have liked this year. I can justify this by saying that there have been times when I have been busy and just haven’t found the time to write, or at other times I have not had anything worthwhile to write about. Really, though, these are just excuses. I made a valiant attempt at NaNoWriMo this year, writing 25,000 words, making it halfway to the goal for the month. Then certain job and family issues took precedence and I stopped writing. But, I did continue to follow #NaNoCoach and various NaNoWriMo tips on Twitter and their website. There was an interesting statement made by one of the people acting as NaNoWriMo Coach, taking over that hashtag for a time. They mentioned that they had won NaNoWriMo a few years back, but had not participated in recent years, because — and this was what I found interesting — He said that NaNoWriMo fulfilled its purpose for him, in that it got him writing everyday. He said that he now regularly writes at least 25,000 words a month, because he spends time writing everyday. This reminded me of something my professor and faculty advisor told me when I was working on my final capstone paper to complete my Bachelor’s degree. The department required a 20 page paper due the last semester. The professor I was working with had a suggestion for getting this paper written — Write at least 15 minutes a day. That was it. Write something for at least 15 minutes a day. And depending on where you were at in the writing of the paper that writing took on different forms. At the beginning it was writing or working on the outline, later it was writing the prose of the paper, and toward the end it was editing and revising the paper. This was supposed to be 15 minutes of writing, separate from any research or any other activity related to the writing of the paper. Just sit down and write. I have several blogs and other things that I would like to write for. This, my personal blog, and a few blogs that I am trying to start writing for professional reasons — Open Source Education — German, and Open Source Education — English, which I have started to gather thoughts and post lesson plan ideas for the different classes I hope to one day be able to teach. I also have a German blog, that I am writing in German to keep up with my German language skills. And then there are the different novel ideas that I would like to keep writing and working on beyond the once a year NaNoWriMo. I think it is time to start implementing what I should have learned from NaNoWriMo and my scholarly writing experiences. I want to start writing 15 minutes everyday. For one of my blogs or one of my personal writing projects, I want to write 15 minutes everyday. I have set an alarm on my phone to remind me, I just need to take the time and sit down and write. Here’s to happy writing, and hopefully more posts.

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