One week of NaNoWriMo down, three more to go! I hope everyone is off to a great start so far! I must confess I have slowly petered out even though I started strong right out the gate.
First, let me give you an insight into my proposed writing schedule.In a perfect world, my November would be free of any life events and all my focus on NaNoWriMo. However, I do not live in a perfect world, so life pops ups all the time! So, to combat stress or great upheaval, I created a writing schedule that allowed me to still hit 50,000 words, but also enjoy socializing with the outside world. Life events that have occurred so far, my long time best friend from grade school was married this past weekend. It was such a great time and we had a mini reunion of our “group” from primary school days. It was nice not to have to worry about my word count. Of course, as I live in America, then Thanksgiving is something that disrupts any NaNoWriMo flow. Since I have family on both my mom and dad’s side, we have at least three Thanksgivings and as much as I would like to buckle down and write during the holiday, I usually only see some of my family member once a year.
So, I did some math (with a calculator’s assistance) and created a schedule, so even if I fell off the wagon, I would still be okay. I even added my own personal word count goal (3,000) for some extra motivation. How have I done so far? Well, as I stated above I started out strong on Day 1 with 3,009 words! However, Day 2 and Day 4 I wrote a total of 706 words. My current word count stands at 3, 715. Obviously, not how I envisioned where I would be on Day 9 of NaNo. Now, it would be easy to blame life for interrupting, but it was not life’s fault (this time).
My sluggish writing has come to a standstill because I am at a VERY boring part in my story. I am needing to describe the cabin my character is staying in. I decided to use her search for a landline phone as a way to describe the rooms and layout of the cabin, yet as I pull up my Google Doc and set my fingers over the home row keys, a heavy weight sits upon my shoulders and my mind races about a million other enjoyable things I could be doing.
I have not done a very good job of combating my procrastination, however here are a few tricks I have tried that may be helpful to other NaNo writers who are currently struggling.
I bought Halloween candy with the sole purpose of using it as a motivation tool. Never mind I have snuck a few (or all) the Reese’s during my lunch. Unfortunately, this tactic did not work. It only made me hungry or realized I was, so I would instead cook a meal and then plop down in front of the TV for only ONE episode of whatever show I am currently binge watching. Like Lays says, you can never have just one and I sure do not watch one episode on Netflix.
I learned about using Pinterest to create boards for my characters, settings, and simply building a creative atmosphere for inspiration to flow from other NaNo participants. I have thoroughly enjoyed pinning! It really does get the juices flowing and as I am a visualizer it aids me greatly in my writer. However, once again, this tactic did not work for this cabin situation. I pinned so many cute cabins and it made we want to do was run away to one. In fact, I even proposed to my family we take a vacation to a cabin just for fun.
3). Skip Ahead
Simply skip to another part of your story. Now if you are strict about following a timeline this may be difficult. I am not a big stickler for a timeline, but it does help me keep my thoughts organized and not become a chaotic jumbled mess. During Camp NaNoWriMo, I did jump ahead to my main character meeting another character. The urge to write the scene was burning inside of me for a few days, so I finally caved, wrote the scene and the sensation was gone. I simply had to get that part of the story out of me, so that I could focus on the rest of it. Did I try this method again? OF COURSE! Did it work? No, not this time. I have no urge to write another scene, but I only want this cabin scene to be not so boring.
4). Power Through
That’s right. Suck it up and push through. I’m a terrible pusher. I need Ms. Norbury to be my pusher. However, I’d probably just write about her in my own Burn Book. (I’m kidding, Tina Fey is bae!). So what’s a lady to do?
Try to find some middle ground in order to move forward. It struck me this morning how I could work my way past this cabin scene. I am still writing a description scene, but not as detailed as I had planned. It will be a rough and dirty run through of the cabin whilst searching for a phone. I plan to “Fix it in post!” Yes, my word count will suffer, but it already has by my not writing at all.
What are some tips and trick you have used to help you get unstuck in your writing? Have you tried any of the one’s above? How did they turn out for you? Let me know in the comments below!