Thursday, November 13, 2014

NaNoWriMo: Don't Stop!

If any of you are doing NaNoWriMo, you might be able to relate a certain struggle of mine. I'm not as far along as I'd like to be. I know, I know, I'm probably the ONLY writer on the planet who has EVER gotten behind on her word count.

The thing is, this beast called NaNoWriMo? This monster of a project?


Surprise, surprise.

If you're one of those types who's all, "yeah-I'm-already-at-60k," I'm going to make a positive life choice and say GOOD JOB. You rock.  Now go away. (Kidding...)

For those of us who aren't quite at that level of word-production, it can get rather...discouraging.

It's sort of like when you can't fall to sleep, you know? Every time you look at the clock you're like, "If I fall asleep now I'll get five hours of sleep...if I fall asleep now it's only four and half..." and on and on. It's a pinwheel of mental torture we inflict on ourselves. The catch is, of course, that all that math only helps you stay awake and therefore has exactly the opposite effect of what you're hoping for.

When I've got a monthly word count I'm working towards, and I get behind, I think, "Okay, if I write 2k words a day, I can still make it." Then I miss another day. "Okay, now if I write 2200 a day, I'm still good...nope, now I have to write 3k...and I really want to finish early, so I should try and get in 5k..." and on and on and on. As the number I have to write daily grows higher, so does my level of discouragement. How can I ever keep up? I'm left with a big fat feeling of BLEGH and somehow less inspired than ever about this whole writing thing.

Not cool.

Anyone with me on this?

Listen, I know they say if you reach 50k, you 'win' NaNoWriMo, but c'mon--no one is keeping track except YOU. The whole point of this event is to grow as a writer. However discouraged you might become, if you let it overwhelm you then you're moving further from that goal of growth. Keep going! Even if you don't have time to hit your word count goal for the day, write something. Write anything. Just write!

NaNo is all about establishing habits. It's awesome to have goals, and it would be GREAT to finish in time, but something is always better than nothing. And I have a secret for you:

They'll let you keep writing in December.

I know, I know--they should advertise that more clearly.

You're a writer all year round. So use this time to build yourself (and your good habits) UP. Reject that discouraging voice that says you're behind. Shove it out the window and write something instead of listening to its maniacal little chatter. Okay?

A little each day.

Get Inspired. 

Keep writing.

(Oh, and buddy me! HeatherRWalters - let's write together!)

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