Like Christmas presents, I’ve been wrapping up the loose ends on my stories for National Novel Writing Month. I am not a “winner” coming short of the fifty thousand words needed.
However, I feel like a winner.
Why? Because I’ve been writing. I’ve been proving to myself that with two tiny children I can do this. I have beautiful stories that excite others. I can find the time to do something that I love. I even finished a story (shorter than expected but done!) and began a new one.
What about you?
It doesn’t matter if you “won.” Did you write? Was it more often or with greater velocity than in the past? Did you make new comrades wielding pen and keyboard? I hope so.
So let’s give ourselves permission this holiday season to admit to relatives, “Yes, I’m writing.” And say with a hint of excitement, “Yes, it’s going well.” Because the definition of well is if you are fulfilling your inner joy of getting words down.
So send out those Christmas cards labeled “JOY” on the front and write a longhand note because you’re a writer and those cards count towards your words for the day!
So you’ve decided to try to write your novel this month like so many hopefuls out there. Whether you are on track, behind or ahead of the pace, congratulate yourself on getting words down! You’ve already won by simply beginning.
If you are like me you’ve already hit a few snags in your story. It’s hard not to let it get you down.
So here are a few tips to get you through the rest of the month:
–Don’t stress about your word count. Stress is a creativity and productivity crusher so don’t even go there. Write what you can every day without apology.
–Avoid line edits like the plague. You can go back later and do all the editing you want, no time for it right now.
–Schedule your writing time. At times I feel slave to my calendar but to get around it I schedule in my fun time, my writing time, even do nothing time. Make your calendar work for you not the other way around.
–Reach out to others in the community. Writing can be a lonely task but it doesn’t have to be. Reach out to the NaNoWriMo community and find likeminded writers on Twitter. You could even visit a local writers group to get plugged in.
-Plan on getting behind. Life is real and it’s really hard sometimes. Don’t panic! Just plan on a few catch up days throughout the month. I try to block out a few extra hours once or twice a week to account for life.
-Remember snacks. Or whatever it takes for you to have good self care. Don’t forget you are still a person who needs food and sleep (well sorta).
–Rewards are awesome-sauce. Make mini goals and when you hit them reward yourself. Chocolate works great for me. Or for you it may be a game of mini-golf or a trip to the beach. Go for it!
All of these items are getting at the main goal of staying positive throughout the month.
You can do this. Your story is worth telling. Keep writing!
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