How’s the writing going, everyone? For any and all participants, we’re getting very close to the midway point for National Novel Writing Month. By Thursday, November 15th, you’ll need to be hitting 25,000 words to be half way to the end goal of 50,000 words. Are you hitting panic mode or are you coasting along? Well, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic.” Even if you’ve fallen a bit behind, this is the number one rule of the game right now.
If you’re finding yourself biting your nails in agitation that you’re falling behind and can’t seem to make the minimum amount of words each day, take a step back and take a deep breath. Remember that just because 1,667 words a day is the suggested goal, that is not going to fit into everyone’s schedule, so don’t get down on yourself if you can’t do it. I would guess that the majority of NaNoWriMo participants have day jobs, go to school, or if you’re like me, both. Make smaller daily goals during the week and larger word count goals for the weekend. Remember, if you really get on a roll one day and churn out a lot of words, it’s okay to take a break the next day.
There are going to be times where you’re really going to hate writing. Some of you may have already hit that point. Again, it’s okay to take a break and rethink things. Sometimes coming at it with a rested mind is going to make all of the difference. If you’re really struggling with a plot element or where to go from here, try stepping back and doing something else you enjoy for awhile. I know I am right about at that point, so tonight I’m going to let myself take a break and try out the new expansion for World of Warcraft. If you are writing to the detriment of other things in your life, you will hate it. Remember that balance is important.
Most importantly, this is supposed to be fun. If you are not having fun, ask yourself why. If its “I’m stuck on this one plot point or this character really seems like a dead end,” try working on a different part of your story and come back to that one later. A lot of times it’s easier to write out of order than linearly. It’s easy to burn out, so make goals appropriate to your life and not necessarily what the suggested pace is.
You’re not alone. This is a fun, hair pullingly frustrating month, but there are a lot of people in the same boat that you’re in. See if in your region fellow writers are doing write-ins. Sharing the experience with others can be an amazing motivational force. Or, feel free to add me as a writing buddy. I’m giving out pep talks and advice for free! Happy Writting everyone, and remember Don’t Panic!