IWSG is an opportunity for writers to share their writing-related insecurities and offer advice and encouragement to one another. Click here to find out more about this totally awesome group.
* * *
I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, but in the earliest days of my writing adventures, I did something a little similar. I called it Writing Week. Here’s how it worked.
I’d take three vacation days: a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I would devote those three days, plus the weekends before and after, to writing. My schedule would look something like this:
Over the course of those nine days, I’d work on two separate projects, so if I got stuck on one I could switch to the other. By the end, I’d have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 words to my credit.
Obviously NaNoWriMo is different. It’s stretched over the course of a full month, and presumably you still have to do your day job for most of that period. But I think some of the lessons I learned from Writing Week still apply.
- First and foremost, this is not a chore. It’s a celebration. A celebration of writing! If you’re relaxed and having fun, your word count quota will take care of itself.
- Schedule time away from writing. Those two days I went to work for The Man during Writing Week gave my brain a much needed rest.
- Spoil yourself. Don’t cook (it’s time better spent writing!). Order your favorite takeout instead. Remember, this is a celebration, and what’s a celebration without amazing food?
- Re-read your favorite books. Re-watch your favorite movies. Your favorite stories are probably the reason you started writing. Exposing yourself to them again will remind you why you wanted to do this and help keep you from getting discouraged.
I worry sometimes when I hear people talk about NaNoWriMo. They seem to get so blinkered by word counts that they forget to have fun and enjoy the adventure of writing.
Just my outsider’s perception, of course.
So how do you feel about NaNoWriMo? Have you done it? Does it seem to you like a celebration of writing, or does it turn writing into a chore?