Week 1 you’re rolling right along. You’re maintaining the suggested word count, and feeling confident you’ll finish ahead of schedule. This is a great feeling, and I encourage you to keep going.
Week 2 arrives, and you still have a lot of steam. You plug away, still making that word count, but suddenly, it’s become a struggle. Don’t worry. Every other person doing NaNo feels the same thing (except your friend Joan. She is still going at full speed. She’s the exception. Ignore her.) Even with your brilliant outline, the little things around you begin to distract you. It’s become harder to meet the daily word count. For the first time since you began the project, you are questioning your sanity. You no longer have the same confidence that you can finish on time. You put your muse to the test though, and as the week ends, you’ll start getting back into your groove. And then…
Week 3 brings a whole new set of challenges… your story is running out of gas, your family is more demanding, or better yet, YOU are cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. Whatever the reason, Week 3 is always the roughest week of NaNo despite seeing the fruit of your wages.
You start questioning everything… Do I need to write every detail or can I skim over and jump to the next part? Is this too graphic? Should I key it down some? Do I need to add visuals to every cellphone conversation? How do I get from where she is now to where she is going? What’s happening with this character? Where is my story going from here? Do I really have to kill off this sidekick?
For me, I’ve always had a bit of trouble with the middles and tying everything all together. I’m trying hard to write it well the first time, and that’s kind of defeating the literary abandon that is the NaNoWriMo purpose too.
Week 3 doubts
This novel writing stuff really is tough, especially for a short story writer. Maybe I should go back to the one scene at a time writing that has become so familiar to me through the art of flash fiction writing. It seems to move a little easier that way, leaving room for fabulous cliffhangers that make me think. Returning to write another scene becomes easier.
Part of it is because I haven’t been motivated to write. Some days I will write nothing, then spend the entire next day burning out in chunks of 4,000 words. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as a whole, but for NaNo? Here’s where I remind myself to stop looking at that word count graph.
My story has moved a lot further than where it was when I started. That’s what I need to focus on while I wait for my muse to stay inspired as that turkey turns golden brown in the oven and the potatoes soften enough for me to mash them.
Maybe she’ll even stick around during the dreaded “company entertainment” that will be forced on me next week. You’ll have to check back to find out.Surviving @NaNoWriMo by the week. #amwriting #nanowrimo #writingadvice #writerslife Click To Tweet
So, tell me, my fellow Wrimos…
What is the hardest part of writing these 50,000 words for you? How is your planning coming together? How will you keep yourself motivated?