I’ve written this way in advance, because November is going to be absolutely mad. Right now, I should be right in the middle of the madness. :) Anyone else involved in the month long writing dash known as NaNoWriMo?
For those of you who don’t know, National Novel Writing Month is when you try to complete 50000 word manuscript within a month. It’s difficult. I had to work extremely hard to make it last year, when I didn’t have nearly as many literary and online obligations as I do now. Juggling this project, along with jobs, deadlines, and other obligations can be quite the trick! I still think it’s worth it, for all its trickiness. Participating means you commit to getting at least some of a story you want to tell on the page.
Perspiration and inspiration are required for finishing a manuscript within a month. How to find the inspiration, though, when you’re perspiring so much you’re panicking? Here are a few tricks, which have helped me. Other writers have recommended them, as well.
Take breaks. This may seem odd, when you’re trying to finish a MS, but it truly helps. Only don’t sit in front of the TV, when you’re stopping. Do something active. Take a short walk. Wash some of the dishes lying there in the sink. Play with your pets. Move around a little. This will help clear your mind, making it easier to think and plot.
Spend some time every day working on your manuscript. Make a ritual of it. No, you may not be in the mood or feel like writing. In spite of this, start writing. If you’re really into your story and your characters, you’ll get into the mood. If you’re not getting into it, stop and think about why you’re not. Writer’s block may be a hint that something is wrong, something you need to fix. Besides, if you, the author, aren’t into your story, how can you expect others to take an interest in it? Maybe your main character is too passive and lacks a goal. Maybe the obstacles s/he faces aren’t interesting enough. Think back on what your own goal was in writing this story. Why did you want to write it? What’s appeals to you about this particular character? If you can pinpoint those reasons, you may be able to figure out why you’ve lost interest in your story.
Don’t forget to eat and sleep. True, muses tend to chew on our toes at odd hours of the night, urging us to creep out of bed and start writing. I’m not saying you should ignore them. However, we’re writing at a time of year, when a lot of people get sick. Making certain you sleep and eat are good preventative measures against illness. Remember, catching a cold won’t help you write your manuscript any faster.
Above all, have fun. Yes, writing is hard work. However, there’s nothing quite like having a story come together, especially it’s your own. Get to know your characters with all their strengths and flaws. Immerse yourself in your world. It’s the most addictive drug in the world.
Believe me, I know. :)