Day 7! [NaNoWriMo 2013]

Aaaand it’s the end of Week 1! If at this point you are feeling completely stumped, totally frustrated, uninspired, and wondering why on earth you thought this was a good idea, never fear: welcome to Week 2, otherwise known as The Week Of Slump. It is entirely normal to begin feeling like you’ve got nothing more in your head, like no one will ever read what you’re writing, like this is all pointless, and like you should just give up. If you’re not quite here yet, congratulations, and hope it doesn’t come in the next few days. I’ll say it again! It is FINE to feel this way.

Advice, you ask? Well. Here’s the thing. This is where I’ve often stopped writing until the last week or so, when I do a serious writing sprint to catch up. That’s easier, in a way, that staying on track and steadily plowing through the words. But I do have a few tips, and I hope they help! (For the record, I’m at around 12k in my rewrite, so I’m sort of on the same page as all of you at the moment)

1. Take a break! Get away from your novel. Often our best ideas come to us when we’re not actively thinking about the problem. There’s a reason why people “sleep on” important decisions – your subconscious is a really effective processor, and it works more efficiently when your conscious isn’t beating it over its head to come up with something. Don’t be afraid to skip a day; you will catch up, and sometimes taking a break is the best thing you can do.

2. Procrastinate and write a blog post, like me! Ok, but seriously, writing about what is frustrating or bothering /stumping you in your novel can be a huge help. We are writers, after all, and it really does work to do this.

3. If it’s writer’s block or a lack of ideas that is tripping you up, try the Word Wars, Prompts, & Sprints forum for ideas. Definitely try doing the Pub Crawl, and if you can do it with another Wrimo, all the better. Maybe be brave and venture over to Write or Die. In short: find something that will get you writing, even if it’s not great quality.

4. Which brings me to: just keep writing. You don’t have to churn out an award-winning  first draft, you have to get 50,000 words on the page. Don’t be afraid to take a serious risk in your novel and let the story go where you never thought it would. Sometimes pressure is a great game changer.

5. Now more than ever, set aside a specific chunk of time to write. While it’s good to squish in writing whenever you can throughout the day, having a planned time for writing (say two hours) is a really good motivator.

5. Get off WordPress. Yeah, yeah, I’m going…

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