When NaNoWriMo is a NaNoWriNO
Anonymous asked:538 words for the first day of NaNoWriMo... I am just not inspired and don't even know where this story is going. It took me all day to go write these words and I just don't feel like writing anymore. Why am I forcing myself to write? It should come naturally, especially for such a comittment as 50k words in a month.
Well. Writing is hard.
Should it come naturally? IDK. It’s hard. I write so much and it doesn’t always come easily. Sometimes I struggle a lot. And it’s super easy to give up on it when you’re struggling.
If you have a deadline or a commitment, then you can’t give up when it’s hard. Writing a novel takes commitment. Nanowrimo is a commitment that you make TO YOURSELF. There’s no one else who is going to hold you accountable if you don’t do it.
If you want to write a novel, that’s a commitment, no matter how many words you write. Sometimes our inspiration comes and sometimes it just does not, but when you show up to the page, that’s how you write a novel. You keep showing up. You face down the lack of inspiration and the tiredness and the boredom and the confusion and the feelings of failure and the overwhelm and the mehs.
Or you don’t. It’s okay if you don’t want to commit to nanowrimo. I give you permission to not do it. It doesn’t actually work for everyone.
No one is making you do nanowrimo and it IS a big commitment if you don’t want to do it. So if you don’t want to, then don’t. So figure out your reasons for WANTING to do nanowrimo... if it’s just because other people are doing it and it seems like a good idea, then that may not be enough. But if it’s because you want to write a novel and you want or need the challenge to get through it... then maybe it’s what you want to be doing and if that’s the case, then figure out what’s holding you back today and fix it, and keep going.
Is your story missing something? When I get stuck like that, I take a completely unrelated concept, question or story idea, and stuff it into the current idea. Like I had the idea of a kind of Han/Leia space freighter/runaway princess story, and I shoved another concept of an alien goo biomechanically engineered onto spaceships into the story, and ended up with the energy to finish a 130k novel. The disparate ideas bounce off of each other.
Are you THINKING too much? A lot of people are pantsers and they just take an idea and keep going, allowing the plot bunnies to multiply and following whichever way they hop.
Or are you NOT THINKING ENOUGH??? Some people require more structure to their stories and need to know what the plot is. If you don’t have one, google a three act structure format and fill your story in and get back to work.
Maybe you’re starting in the wrong place and the action or conflict hasn’t gotten there yet. If that’s so, then jump right into the middle of things and start en media res. Don’t set it up. Get it going.
Also recognize that 538 words is nothing to sneeze at. Do that for three months and you have a novel. If you need a lower count for your novel writing, if you need more than a month, that is PERFECTLY FINE. Even when I win nanowrimo I almost never finish a novel in one month.
Struggling for one day is not a sign that you can’t or shouldn’t do it. Maybe Camp Nano is a better speed for you when you can set your own goals and still have a community around you, even if not EVERYONE is doing it.
Maybe you just need to keep writing and push through and keep going. Only you can answer the question of how nanowrimo can best fulfill your needs... or if it doesn’t fulfill your needs at all.
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Wonderer, wanderer, warrior. Been around for a while. Got some stuff going on. Should probably get back to blogging. I mean....I didn't go away, I was just talking about science fiction for a while.