Welcome to my week two recap, A.K.A., part three of my National Novel Writing Month series! For those of you just tuning in, there's still plenty of time! Go ahead and sign up for NaNoWriMo here! But first, you may want to read my other article(s) in the series, the first of which is here!
This is where I summarize my writing week and show y'all what I've learned! I'm hoping you guys will be able to learn something from what I'm saying, and maybe benefit a little from my week of ups and downs. This week was actually pretty,
hard for me, as I fell back a few thousand words. I lost inspiration and noticed a few plot-holes I had to fill. I also had a bunch of questions that needed to get answered, and felt like my novel was going downhill before I even penned it! I ended up getting really discouraged and felt like I would just quit. There was no way I would be able to catch up, given how far behind I was. If you relate: Don't quit!!
There are a lot of reasons to get discouraged during this month. There's a lot going on, and you're adding a large project to your schedule. It's easy to get overwhelmed at all of the writing/plotting/planning that has yet to be done. It's okay. Writing is hard. After all, you're creating a world that exists solely in your mind and transforming it into words on paper. The main thing to remember is to leave you inner editor, critic, and any unpleasant thoughts at the door. This month is your first draft and is going to be bad. All first drafts are bad. Editing makes it good, and editing is for later.
Even knowing all this, I can hardly help going back and fixing everything so that it sounds right. Just trust future you to know what to fix and where to fix it. I also went through a day where I just felt like the story wasn't working. I didn't think it sounded interesting. My characters were flat. My entire story just seemed meh. Instead of giving up on the project as I would have a year ago, I started finding solutions. This helped me to both
- a.)Understand how to make my characters and plot better,
- b.)Get myself excited for the story, and looking forward to writing.
You just have to have fun with it and realize it's your story. If you find yourself in a slump, push through it and do what you need to to get inspired for your story again. Force yourself to look forward to writing. If you're excited about it, it'll be easier to write. Figure out what gets you in the 'writing' mood, and do it. Whether it's chopping up a chocolate bar, and rewarding yourself with a piece after every 300/400/500 words, or researching things around your world so much you could actually have lived in it, or whatever else. Just go and do it! You'll feel better when you're looking forward to it. Though some days you'll have to push through your attitude and temperament and just force the words down. It'll help you overall, even if you don't enjoy that one day.
Because of all the solutions, I searched for, the last end of this week has been pretty productive. I'm at a semi-steady rate. I'm really getting the habit of writing; I can feel myself falling into a routine, and trusting 'future me' more and more. It's getting easier to write a couple thousand words in a sitting. Today, I went to my fantasy correspondent and got more answers to my questions. I'm really excited again, and ready to write!
Lastly, remember the end of the day. That word count may seem ominous. It may seem intimidating to write over a thousand words a day. At the end of the day though, what is the word count? A completed novel? The end for your project? Nope nope! Trust me, a lot will be removed in the editing stage. You;ll have to stick with the project for a while after you finish the document. All the word count is, at the end of the day, is a word count. When/if you get your work published, no one will really care how many words there are. Nobody's going to count, that's for sure. What's important is to take the novel and hold onto it. Work at it consistently, develop the plots and characters, and write your story. Write what you want or need. Writing is supposed to be fun, a hobby. Ys, it could be a career at some point, but right now, focus on having fun with your writing, and writing what you want/need. Go! Write! Conquer!