Nanowrimo: I should be writing a novel right now

For those of you who don’t know, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is a month long challenge with the aim to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. (I know, why do I do this to myself)

So week 3  has hit, and I’m behind on my word count (shocker). I always find this the hardest week. You’re half way up the mountain and you’re staring at the top thinking how is the end that far away when I’ve walked so much already.  The peak is a million miles away, and I’ve just realised that my plot really sucks and I can’t write at all.

When I get like this, I need someone to give me a tough love pep talk, and remind me why I’m doing this. Because it is fun!

Here are some tips and tricks to get you back into the swing of things, if week 3 has also hit you hard:

  1. Turn off your word count.

    This may be relatively obvious, but if you have your word count on display, it can be very distracting. It’s hard to get into the zone and into the heads of your characters when you have a bloody number staring you in the face. Turn it off. It will be a nice surprise when you see how much you have written, and I like to treat it like a little guessing game to make it fun.

  2. Word sprint galore

    The guys over at nanowordsprints, and the official Nanowrimo Twitter host word sprints all the time, no matter what country you’re in. People even run their own so go look at #nanowordsprint and participate in some! This makes it a lot easier to churn those words out, when you know there are others around the world doing it too. The community aspect is something I really love about Nanowrimo, and participating in word sprints is a great way to get involved. A few days ago, Kristina Horner hosted a virtual write in on the nano Youtube page which was full of laughs and productivity.

  3. Take a break

    I know it’s hard, and I personally feel really guilty about having some spare time, and not using it to write. But taking a break can actually really help refuel, especially in week 3 when things might begin to drag a bit. Take a step back and do something else. For me, I’ve found cross stitching and re-watching old episodes of One Tree Hill has got my brain firing with new ideas (and old emotions).

  4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

    The overall goal is 50,000 but set your own goal if you don’t think that’s achievable! Remember, if you’ve written something, then it’s more than what you started with.

And that’s it! If anyone else is doing nano, leave your tips for staying motivated below (as well as your current word count – mine’s 20,380!)

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