How to keep motivated during NANOWRIMO and beyond!
National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) is upon us, and millions of people will be sitting down in front of their computers, doing their best to pop out a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days. The experience can be both liberating and daunting.
Although it is not required nor expected to reach the 50,000 word count by the end of November, it is easy to lose steam and inspiration before the 30th comes. To keep that motivation going, here are a few examples you can do to keep calm and carry on.
“If you write 10k a day, you will end up with a book. If you write 1k a day, you will end up with a book. If you write 500 words every Tuesday, you will end up with a book. If you write 100 words before bed, or 50 whenever you can, you will end up with a book.”
Write the scenes you want to see first!
Skip around in your story and write the scenes that give you the most motivation. Some authors build their entire story around that single scene. Once that scene is down on paper, you’ll have a better idea of when/where/what/how your story gets to that part.
Write it first, edit it second!
According to Stephen King’s Rules for Writing, first write for yourself, then for your audience. https://www.dorrancepublishing.com/authors-rules-writing-stephen-king/
Accept your first draft will be bad, and that’s okay! The point of NANOWRIMO isn’t to craft the next Great American Classic, it’s to write.
As part of the ‘write it first, edit it second’ suggestion, deleting is editing. Not just misspelled words or grammatical errors, but don’t delete the obvious plot holes, the awkward dialogue, or the character who is supposed to be dead in this scene. Every bit of writing, good or bad, is a journey to becoming a better writer. Instead put your writing in another folder to look back upon, to study, or to reflect. As author Cecil Atkins put it, “Nothing you write is ever wasted.”
Celebrate your accomplishments!
As American author William Zinsser said, “Writing is hard work.” On top of writing an average 1,600 words per day to meet the NANOWRIMO deadline, authors will still have to contend with work, school, kids, and other daily activities. Don’t beat yourself up for what you didn’t write. Instead pat yourself on the back for what you were able to achieve. Writing is hard work!
Discipline is better than motivation!
Motivation is a fickle thing, it’ll come and go as it pleases. Don’t rely on motivation. Instead, set up a schedule and stick to it. Just like getting up and going to work every day, even on days when you don’t want to, making an effort to write every day is a discipline you will need to master.