NaNoWRiMo: Keeping the Motivation  
NaNoWriMo

NaNoWRiMo: Keeping the Motivation

by Stacy  

It’s official! It’s been one week into November and that means our first week of NaNoWriMo is already over! How are you feeling? Cool as a cucumber? Honestly, I am very impressed and you’ve probably done NaNoWriMo before. Panicked and running around with your head cut off? Trust me – same. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and thinking that NaNoWriMo might have been just a little bit more than you can chew, don’t worry because that’s how most people are feeling the first week into NaNoWriMo. I find that keeping up the motivation to write is what I struggle with the most as I settle more and more into November.  

Let’s talk about some ways to keep the motivation up and inspiration coming!

Motivation - great when you have it, impossible to find it. If you’re struggling finding the motivation to write, start by taking a look at what’s working and what’s not working. It’s okay to change things as you’re writing your novel if you find that it isn’t working for you! The best examples I can give are taking them straight from my own current NaNoWriMo experience.  

What isn’t working for me…. My routine and schedule. The writing routine and schedule that I came up with before November sounded great and easy to accomplish, only for me to realize a week and a half in that I am consistently more stressed because in actuality my schedule is immensely unrealistic to what I can actually accomplish. The likelihood that anyone has the same routine every single day is so slim. Even if you do have a consistent work/life schedule outside of NaNoWriMo, how can you possibly block out hours of writing when you also have to fit in errands, chores, holidays, appointments, family, etc., etc., etc.? Despite working a consistent schedule of 9am – 5pm, I could not reasonably find a block of time for writing. I would get off at 6, get home by 6:30, then be expected to cook dinner, clean the house and work on all my personal projects. Now it’s 10pm and I have done zero writing and have to go to bed, so I can wake up early for work.  

Work smarter, not harder: Writing Blocks vs. Writing Sprints

Writing blocks did NOT work for me this year. The past few years for NaNoWriMo, I was a student in college – sitting down for 3 to 12 hours to work on one assignment novel was cake! Now, I would be luckily if I could find 3 hours to work on anything, let alone my novel. To work more with my life schedule, I changed my daily writing expectations to fit into smaller “word sprints” instead! Rather than writing for 3 hours straight, I will plan to write for 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes on my lunch break, and 30 minutes to an hour after work! It’s been two days of being on this new schedule and I have already felt less stressed and writing has come easier.  

My morning word sprint consists of 10 minutes of free writing on something completely unrelated to my novel. And if I’m really lacking ideas and inspiration to write, I will use a random word/plot generator to get something started. Usually the 10 minutes of writing is all I need to get focused and inspired for the day, so I will spend the next 20 minutes writing my novel. However, my lunch and nighttime sprints tend to focus more on the novel itself!  

Remember: It’s okay to miss!

We’re all human and life is pretty hectic – don’t stress so much you get sick or neglect other important things going on. It’s okay to miss your writing sprints and your writing blocks - It’s even okay to miss writing days!! If you’re really serious about trying to reach the 50,000 word limit, just make sure you make up that writing time over the weekend or on a day you are less busy! Trust me, writing for NaNoWriMo will come much easier the less stress that’s involved so don’t be afraid to change things up as you go! Create a new routine and/or system that works for you.  

 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org On 10 November, 2020 at 1:07 PM  

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