Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday Souvenirs - NaNoWriMo Motivation - How to Keep the Flame Alive

We're a week into National Novel Writing Month. Can you hear the nails being bitten and the coffee being drunk? And then the scream of frustration as you just can't get the muse to tell you more right when you need it.

With NaNoWriMo upon us, and everyone feverishly trying to write/finish a novel in 30 days, there’s hardly time to think about anything else. But sometimes even feverish efforts hit burnout and it’s hard to keep up the pace to finish 50K words in thirty days. How do you keep going when you hit a wall?

One of the best things to remember is you’re not alone. There are a lot of people in the writing world who participate in NaNoWriMo and they are all in the same boat. I have several friends who compete each year in NaNo. What they’ve told me works best is having NaNo-buddies, friends who can alternately cajole and whip you into writing when you just want to quit. Having someone like this is one of the essential tools to getting NaNo done. I make an excellent cheerleader and encourager. Just sayin’.

So when you hit that wall where you hate what you’re writing and you’re pretty sure it equals pond scum, just remember you can fix it later. Get the rough story down and don’t worry about its “goodness”. Good writing is rewriting anyway. It doesn’t have to be awesome, it just has to be done. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll get done.

Another thing that helps with inspiration is #flashfiction writing. There are several challenges during the week set aside specifically to encourage motivation and inspiration. #FlashFridayFic, #55WordChallenge, #ThursThreads, and the new one #RacetheDate, are all challenges meant to motivate you into writing and help spark your muse. Each of these challenges occur weekly and can help with your word count for the day.

This is a huge task you’re undertaking, but you can do it. One hour, two tops, and you can get that word count in. I’ll cheer you on.

If you've done NaNoWriMo before, what tricks do you use to keep yourself going?

Good luck and happy NaNoWriMo!


  1. Great article.
    This is my third NaNo. I'm a panster so no outlines for me but I have found that writing the characters backstory helps spark scene ideas.

    1. That's a great idea, Page. If you know where the characters have been, you'll have an idea of where they're going. Good luck in NaNo this year! :)


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