Hello NaNoWriMos. Did you make it past days 15-19? I know I almost didn’t. I lost some motivation in there somewhere, but it’s back now. What got me going again, and what should get you going again if you’ve slowed down or stopped? You’re in the home stretch! There’s only one more week left, and you can have your life back again! Last week was a toughy. It still seemed like there was plenty of time, so why rush? But now we’re rounding the bases, and the end is in sight. Here are some tips for keeping up your motivation to finish this final week.
- Share your story: If you’re having writer’s block and have absolutely no clue how you’re going to get to the end of your story from here, it’s sometimes enlightening to tell the story you’ve written so far. Retelling your ideas out loud to a friend or family member can help you do a few things: get a feel for where you are and where you need to go, get feedback or ideas from your friends that you may not have gotten before, and re-motivate you to keep writing. Sometimes having someone to bounce your ideas off of will help you get over that hurdle.
- Don’t Panic!: Remember this one? It’s a staple for all lists on how to get through any month long challenge. If you panic, your brain is likely to stay locked up rather than open up. If you’re getting frustrated with a certain character or plot point, take a deep breath, step away for a minute, and review tip 1.
- It is never too late to re-outline or re-organize: This is another tip that will keep resurfacing. When you’re writing in the frenzy that NaNoWriMo requires, you can sometimes get a little out of control. If you’ve discovered that you have way more loose ends than you originally intended, write yourself a list of what they are, and outline how you can tie them up. Jot down an outline of what has happened so far and where you want it to go. Seeing ideas simplified can make a big problem seem a lot more manageable.
- 50,000 words isn’t the end all, be all: If you’re looking at what you’ve got and you’re thinking, “There is absolutely no way I can finish this story at just 50,000 words,” don’t worry. 50,000 words is the minimum. Guess what December is for. Finishing! On the other hand, if you’re thinking, “There’s absolutely no way I’m going to make it to 50,000 words. I’m a loser,” Perk up, kid. No, you’re not. If you made an attempt, you’re ahead of most people who ponder writing a novel. I think all participants deserve a pat on the back, and if nothing else this was a great exercise. You might find that if you take the pressure off your shoulders it gets easier to power through to the end.
- Just keep writing! Don’t give up! You only have a week left, so just keep putting fingers to keys or pen to paper. Again, as in number 4, December is for expanding, editing, omitting, and butchery. Don’t worry about that now. Just keep trying. I know you can do it!
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! Don’t sleep through it, write through it! Just remember, you’ll be thankful you did, just about as thankful as you’ll feel when December 1st rolls around. Just keep at it, and I’ll see you at the finish line!