Thursday, November 11, 2010

Keep Going At All Costs!

So. I'm behind in NaNo. NaNoWriSLOW. Haha. Okay, I really need to stop with the NaNo puns. Anyway, not so far behind that I can't catch up. Just, you know, 5882 words behind. No big deal, right?

Are any of you as far behind as I am? Is being that far behind daunting or motivating? How do you motivate yourself to keep going and reach the end target of 50,000 words by the end of November? Or are you more inclined to admit defeat and bow out of the struggle?

I'm going to keep trying, I think. I was a failure last year for a number of reasons. The story I'd chosen to write too closely matched the real life of a well-loved family member and he was none too pleased that I was stealing what was emotionally his. And my boyfriend had broken up with about a week into the month and while the tears came quick and swift, the words just weren't. Though, I think I probably wrote 50,000 words worth of unsent letters, pouring my heart out to him in love, anger and pain. I should have submitted that.

But this year, things are looking up! I have an idea born of original thoughts and emotions that are not those of others. I have a wonderful new boyfriend who read my first four chapters (the first three, of course, not part of the challenge) and encouraged me to keep on writing. So though I paused, for a hot minute, really in NaNo time if you think about it - I'm going to go full steam ahead.

Current NaNo Count: 12,452
Grand Total: 26,610


  1. I have a few things that keep me writing, even when I'm not motivated.

    I've been out of Cortland for over a year now and have been writing every day. A good chunk of that writing is my blog posts. Dr. Franke suggested I start it and write an entry every day. I think of it as the last homework assignment he gave me (or at least the longest-running one). I write a post before I go to bed. I am not allowed to go to bed until I write. Period. I use the same technique for folding my laundry. I throw my clothes on my bed, so I literally can't sleep unless I get it done. If you have a laptop or a paper notebook, do the same.

    As for what I actually choose to write, I have often used a negative writing process. I write something I absolutely hate. As I write it, I am thoroughly confident that I will throw it out when I'm done. The thing is, I can't stand writing trash, so as I am writing, I switch gears and try to make it good. If I still end up hating it, I have no problem throwing it out and trying again; that was my plan in the first place. Getting the wheels moving is usually the hardest part.

    For NaNoWriMo in particular, there's kind of no reason to stop and every reason to keep it up. When you finish, you get bragging rights and a huge boost in self-esteem. If you end up finishing on December 5th, who cares? You still got it done. You still did better than everybody who gave up or never even tried.

    Ultimately, you gotta do what makes you happy. Take a minute and look inside. What would make you happier: finishing up your novel, or quitting because you've fallen behind?

  2. One of the reasons I loved David Franke was because he talked about "sustaining yourself as a writer." Right now, I'm not writing, but I'm still sustaining myself. How? I'm getting a practical Master's degree.

    Now, the last time I physically wrote was last December, but I don't view writing as only getting down ideas on paper. My mind has been "writing." When I sit down next to write, I am certain the experience will be something similar to NaNoWriMo. I know if I were writing this month, being behind would motivate me to an extent. But the point is, I have bowed out of physically writing because of schedule and laziness, but my mind is still in the game, still on the prowl, still evaluating and crunching ideas, even prioritizing ideas. Some people can't sit and write for a month straight. Anybody could, but that doesn't make it necessarily useful or worthwhile.

  3. I'm a bit behind, but think I can catch up tonight. Maybe. But I still have every hope of finishing and I believe that you can too!

  4. I'm minorly obsessed with constantly updating my word count, even if I've only written a few sentences. Watching my words stack up on the graph, if imperceptibly, makes me feel STRONG.

    Keep it up!


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