Someone, please save me from myself!
I have a slight confession, that no one will be surprised by, but I haven’t been preparing for NaNoWriMo.
If you read my long rambling post last week where I basically made 3 or 4 excuses about how busy my life became and how I am barely able to handle it, then this really should be no surprise to anyone.
I am usually a serious NaNo prepper and I’m sure I cross the boundary into what most people would call excessive. I plan out meals, rewards/treat days if I hit a specific word quota. Not to mention the story prepping that I do, I usually write out character sheets, make a detailed outline, and come up with several small tidbits that I can throw into the story and bulk it up.
But not this year, I am as close to pantsing a novel that I get to. I don’t have character sheets, an outline, or anything. I also have not been doing research into the world I want to create.
I had hoped that typing all of this up would help me feel better but instead my anxiety is spiking.
So what do I have? I have an idea for a setting, I have two character names, a handful of scenes and situations, but no idea what the actual plot is. Plotting is where I always struggle, every single time, a lot of my writing is character-based for that reason.
I really want to go into the new year and the new decade with two first drafts for me to edit and clean up. One of my resolutions for the new year is to get more serious about my writing and my goal to be a published author.
I tried to work on my prep over the weekend, but it felt like I was trying to crawl all over a mountain. I couldn’t concentrate, I wasn’t even sure if this story has a story for me to tell or if its the story that I want to work on, but its the only story where I have a handful of details so its the story I’m going with. Eventually, on Sunday night in the peak of my frustration about feeling stuck and uninspired, it came to me.
I’m the problem.
It’s not the story, it’s me.
I’m in a funk. I’m in a mood, and since I am routinely affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, I am the problem.
I’m hoping that being aware and accepting this is enough to help me find my motivation.
So I tried to think of some tips of things to do when you feel stuck and unmotivated to write your novel. I only have a few but they helped me last year.
Use Google Docs and write down anything that may or even may not be related to your story.
Last year I ran into quite a few roadblocks for my story so I went back through my notes and pulled out some of the minuscule details, I have a scene about my character making tea and reflecting on the tea box that her dad made for her, is it relevant to the story? No. Did it add about 800 words and lead me to a different scene? Yes. I remember that day I wrote about 2500 words when I haven’t been feeling all that inspired two hours before.
Just because it isn’t relevant doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful.
I also recommend Google Docs because it saves automatically, you can have it synced with multiple devices, so if you’re in line at WalMart and don’t want to be because you would much rather be working on your story then standing in the middle of that hellhole you can type down any ideas or continue the scene on your phone.
Anyways, Google Docs was there to save the day and then when I got home, I simply copy/paste into my scrivener doc
Do not abbreviate or use contractions.
Do not over don’t, it is over it’s, should not vs shouldn’t.
These are things that you can go back and fix later on, but for NaNoWriMo, it’s an extra word and every extra word helps when the goal is 50,000 words.
Give yourself the option to take a break.
I know, I know, I don’t want to take a break either when there are words to write and story to conquer. BUT, the benefits of taking 15 minutes to bundle up and go for a quick walk outside is indescribable for how helpful it is. Getting fresh air helps in a way that I never would have expected. I would take a break in the afternoon to walk over a coffeeshop a couple blocks away from me and pick up a chai latte or just take a walk and make tea when you get back. It rejuvenates you and gives your mind a break when you feel like banging your head against a wall.
Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break, as long as you’re doing the best that you can, it’s better then not trying.
That’s all that comes to mind at the moment, I plan on doing more weekly updates like I did last year and if I think of more tips Ill add them in.