Thoughts, Ideas and Inspiration by Melissa Earley

10 things I’ve learned during NaNoWriMo and 1 thing I already knew

It’s National Novel Writing Month and I’m frantically trying to write 50,000 words on a novel by November 30. I’m at 26,724 words as of Monday, November 23 at 5:37 PM. Yikes! Here’s what ‘ve learned so far:

  1. It’s really hard to write a novel – even a bad one.
  2. The amount I don’t know about driving from Chicago through Mexico to Guatemala is astonishing.
  3. Sometimes it’s simply easier to make stuff up instead of do research.
  4. The first rule of writing is to put your butt in the chair and write.
  5. When you put your butt in the chair and write, sometimes the story surprises you. That’s when it gets fun.
  6. Checking Facebook does not help you write.
  7. It’s really hard to not use adverbs. But your writing is better when you don’t. (“sputtered” vs. “said haltingly;” “trotted” vs. “walked quickly”)
  8. It might seem like a good idea to pour yourself a glass of red wine to sip on while you write in the evening. It’s not.
  9. You have to write a lot of crap in order to get to write anything remotely good.
  10. You can’t tell when you’re writing if what you’re writing is total crap or if any of it is remotely good.
  11. You will feel inadequate. Accept it and write anyway (remember number 4).




  1. Laura Partington

    I have enjoyed being a part of your process vicariously. The courage is in trying this for the first time. You go girl!

    • admin

      Thanks, Laura!

  2. Phae

    Your honesty is awesome. Love it!

    • admin

      Thanks so much. Glad it connects.

  3. Erin P. Gosser

    I like #3, 6, and 8!

    • admin

      thanks, Erin.

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