Start NaNoWriMo Week 1
So I got off to a good start for NaNoWriMo Week 1. Woo hoo, 4,200+ words the first day. But don’t get too excited because one thing I definitely know about writing – and this goes for a lot of things in life – is that you can’t depend solely on the excitement of new and shiny things. It’s pulling yourself through the sludge and crappy writing days that really count. I’ve been working on this “idea” for some time now so I know that this is not going to be a walk in the park.
When you’re writing stay focused on moving the story forward. I’ve written a few chapters so far that I had to stop at the end and ask myself, “What did I just accomplish in that chapter? What really even happened?” And if I come back with some lame duck response, well that’s not good enough. That’s not to say that it should be perfect, printer/publisher ready perfect (no I’m just talking about the first draft here folks) but the bulk of what you’re doing has to be moving. Ask yourself, did you find that interesting? This is an especially important thing for prolific writers like myself to keep in mind – meaning I get words on paper fairly easily. Don’t get so caught up in banging out thousands of words that you forget you’re supposed to be telling a coherent story.
End NaNoWriMo Week 1
That was the beginning of NaNoWriMo Week 1 and here we are at the end of Week 1. I’m now just over 17,000 words. Of course I’m stoked to be ahead of schedule (which is super rare for me 😉 ), the target for day seven is 11,666, but like I said above being excited is not enough. If I’m being honest it’s a little intimidating to think that I’m only a third of the way through my novel, and that’s assuming the story doesn’t beg to be carried past that! There are a lot of people way ahead of me and those who have barely got started. For those behind let me tell you, don’t beat yourself up just let your thoughts carry you. I didn’t know what I was going to write today but what I did know is that my goal for the month isn’t just to stay on track but to write every day no matter where my word count is. I read the tail end of yesterday’s piece and asked myself, what now? Where do I go from here? I had a thought and followed it, it took me a few steps further on its own. Then I had to think again, okay what’s next? I had another thought and followed it, and then it took a few more steps for me. By the time I stopped writing – at 1,988 words – I didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t even know exactly what I just did and how that’s going to affect the future of my story. I certainly didn’t end knowing what comes next but I DID put in work, got ideas out, and set something up for something else to reveal itself to me. I’m learning that just like in life, you can’t expect to have all the answers right when you think you need them. But you can learn to trust they will be revealed to you in time.
Cheers everybody! How’s your writing going after NaNoWriMo Week 1?
Another tip for the week when working through NaNoWriMo: if you find yourself spending too much time going through the NNWM website, let’s say more time on the website than writing, start setting timers/alarms that go off after say 20 minutes. Then get back to writing. Also, ask yourself if what you’re doing on their is productive; does it help your story? Are you at least helping another writer? Our job as writers is to write, not socialize.