Welcome to Week 2!
This is the week that traditionally becomes a bit of a slippery slope for wrimos. They hate their novel, feel their characters are cardboard and find new and inventive ways to procrastinate. Or they look at the regional stars’ word counts and compare it to their own and think, “I’ll never catch up, so why bother?”
Well don’t worry. This is normal. It WILL pass. As Douglas Adams says, “Don’t Panic!” All will be well.
If you’re worried about your word count, don’t. Just keep plugging along. Don’t look at the 50K goal. Look at 300 words and then another 300 words and then another. Pretty soon those 300 word bits will multiply and you’ll find yourself with several thousand more words!
If you’re like me and a little competition helps, find someone who is close in word count to you and let them be your carrot that you follow and strive to surpass. Alaina has been my carrot this year. She mostly writes in the evening and I’m a morning writer. So every morning I’ve been waking up to find that she was 1500 to 2000 words ahead of me. It has helped to push me to write just a leetle bit more than her. It’s been a great motivator.
Also use word wars. Some years I don’t do too many of these, but whenever I get stuck, they are excellent at getting me moving and I can usually churn out several hundred words per sprint. At least 1/3 of my novel this year is thanks to word wars. If you want to find a word war, you can head over to #nanowordsprints at twitter, go to the NaNo Word Wars thread, go to the NaNoLansing chat room and start one yourself, or ask Timmy the bot the challenge you to something.
If you respond to kamikaze motivation, try Write or die, but don’t use the highest setting unless you are very serious because your words will start to erase if you stop typing. Or if you like kittens, try written kitten where every 1000 words graces you with another kitten picture.
The other thing that helps is going to write ins. There’s nothing like the energy of a room full of wrimos fervently typing away to motivate you to do the same.
Here’s some other strategies – if you hate your plot, jump to another scene. You don’t have to sit and grumble choking out words like water from an empty thermos. Try something new. Bring in another character and see what they have to tell you. My novel is jumping around more than those leaping plot bunnies we passed out at the kick off party and for cauldron of doom prizes. But it’s all right. With each scene, I’m laying out the foundation to flesh out later. And I keep myself entertained and maintain the fun.
But most of all, give yourself credit! You’ve passed week one and your story is being told! You have written more than those folks who never try, so YEA YOU! Now just keep going. Bit by bit, your novel will unfold and you’ll see those word counts rise!