Hello, friends! Welcome to my first blog post in quite some time. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, but with that all said and done, I can proudly say that I’M BACK! *throws confetti*
Today marks Day Thirteen of NaNoWriMo (another thing to celebrate!). I trust that we’ve all made tremendous amounts of progress, whether that be meeting the daily word count or finding twenty minutes of quiet time to write in the morning before the start of the day. I’m proud of you for whatever milestones you’re meeting!
My goal for this month is to finish the third draft of my WIP, Because of India. Putting this novel aside all semester has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Unfortunately, it was very necessary to focus on tackling seven courses, seven hours of field placement, two shifts of work per week, and whatever else the universe decided to toss into that whirlwind.
I’ve spent the first thirteen days of November drilling through a flawed second draft, adding a new character, shortening the beginning, expanding the middle, and making this draft the best it can truly be.
I’m incredibly proud of my work thus far. I feel like this is the draft, friends. 🙂
This past weekend, I took on the 10K in a day challenge to give myself room to breathe this week. I spent six hours in front of the computer, pouring my heart and soul into this draft. The good news? I did it! Check out my (very first!!!!) vlog here for more on that!
I’m currently clocked in at 25,860 words.
But enough about me. Without further ado, here are a few of my tips for staying productive as we approach the halfway point (what???) of NaNoWriMo!
1. Word Sprints!
I’m not an early bird, but I’ve gotten up at 6 am for word sprints before. Last week to be exact.
There’s something to be said about being a part of the writing community and joining friends from around the world to share the same goal. I’ve done some of my best work on word sprints, simply because I love the adrenaline of a ticking clock and being able to share your progress with others in real time 🙂
In fact, during one of the word sprints I participated in, a friend shared a Google Sheet compiled by Jessica Williamson of all the live word sprints this month!
2. Get in the headspace
First and foremost, I am an advocate for creating novel playlists on whatever streaming service you use. It’s an excellent tool to help you stay on track when you do sit down to write.
I also recommend the Pomodoro Technique, whether you’re using it simply because it’s helpful or you’re using it as a mock word sprint tool. However you’d like to think of it, you’ll be looking at sprints in 25 minute intervals with a 5 minute break in between.
With headphones on and a timer set, get to writing.
I cannot stress this enough: SELF-CARE, SELF-CARE, SELF-CARE!
Yes, your novel is important. No, it is not more important than an appropriate amount of sleep (whatever that is for you), meals, hygiene… you get the point.
Writing a novel is very taxing on the mind, body, and soul. While you love your characters, there are days you just wish they would sit down and cooperate. Even if you think you know where you’re going with your idea, there is such a thing as writer’s block. It happens to even the best of us.
Take a step back. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes of quiet time daily. No disruptions, no screens, and no worrying about that character that decided to ignore your perfect outline.
Just breathe. Drink some tea. Snuggle with your pet or your favorite blanket. Be still, and know that you’re doing enough.
There’s a reason that the people of NaNo miraculously convince your favorite authors to do them. A few of my favorites:
Anne Lamott (the reason I chose to end my hiatus and do NaNo in the first place)
You can always peruse them at your leisure on NaNo’s website. But once you’re inspired, go forth and write your novel. I believe in you, too.