Hey you, Nanowrimo 2013-ers! It’s day 10! If you are on target, you will have roughly 17k words by the end of Sunday, 11/10/2013. You are also entering the dog-days of the challenge.
Here’s the thing – Nanowrimo is a marathon, not a sprint. It is so exciting to start a new novel at the beginning, many people get a little too ambitious. Out of the gate, they put down words that are twice the goal or more and do that for the first week. That’s nice to have as a buffer for later, but it is not worth it if you exhaust yourself, creatively, is it?
After a week (or 10 days) of killing it, if you start to go on a low ebb, putting down less than 500 words a day, you shot your wad prematurely. Now, you are trying to keep up, but it isn’t easy. You didn’t pace yourself, so now, midway in, it’s harder than it should be. Health is all about balance. Too much of anything is not good, and if you overdose on writing, it will manifest in unbalancing other aspects of your life. Maybe you are in that place now.
If you are in that place, I know what it’s like. I did the same thing. Adopt a slower pace and no matter what, do not go back and edit. This is no time for editing. It is unbridled story-telling. Just move forward. One foot. Then the next. Repeat.
Another mistake is to view Nanowrimo as an adversary to be slain. I did this, and it made for a month of hating the time I spent doing a thing I love – writing. That’s a completely wrong perspective. Nanowrimo is a heartbeat. Keep it regulated in healthy norms and you are good. Yes, it accelerates on some days and is lower on others, but keep the pace. There is no enemy. There is no adversary. there is only you and your story, moving forward.
Finally, I want to say something to those who are doing Nanowrimo:
For Those Doing Nanowrimo 2013 – WE SALUTE YOU.
I have nothing but respect for those who take on the challenge of Nanowrimo, and you are entering the hardest part of the challenge – around day 10, where it really feels like work. There is nothing more admirable than seeing someone keep going when it gets hard; someone who fights through adversity and obstacles and does not give up. That is the core of a good story, and I think it is at the core of those who create those stories, too.
Shoot for the head.