Inside Look at a NaNo Journey: Part Two
If you’re new around here: I’m Megan! (You can check out part one of my journey here, if you missed it.) Each week, I put together some fun posts for you all. Check out yesterday’s Mighty Pen’s check-in here. Everyone is really killing it and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this group this year. And now for an inside look at my journey the past week.
Week Two Update
Halfway there! I know the midpoint of the month is tomorrow, but I have really been working hard (some days haha) to get ahead. I hit 25k on the 11th and I couldn’t be more excited. Not everything on my page is pretty (in fact, most of it is decidedly not pretty), but I have words and those words mean something to me.
Seriously, this story is one of the most fun things I’ve worked on—even if it doesn’t seem like it just by looking at it. And that’s really what you need to do to get through this month. You have to get excited about your novel. You have to find the pieces that you’re itching to write and just let yourself do it. I, for one, can’t wait to get to the next part in my story, because that’s when my enemies start to become not enemies. *cackles viciously*
So, admittedly, my fundraising efforts still aren’t quite up to the same level. But that’s okay! For now at least. I’m hoping to knock it out of the water once I hit 50k. I have a few pledges that I’m waiting to come through. And if you’re like me and really not great at this whole fundraising thing, there’s some advice in this website or you can drop into the fundraising channel of the Mighty Pens discord to get some pointers from everyone else!
Fun fact about me: I’ve been quarantining since Halloween (we saw a friend in our close circle on the 30th, who then tested positive) and now my fiance and I are both sick. So this week has been especially fun in my household. We’ll see if my writing slows down even more in the next week.
The Murky Middle
We’re nearing the middle of the month and if you’re writing linearly, you’re probably nearing the middle of your novel, too. We know what that means, don’t we? The saggy bits. We’re running out of steam and don’t exactly know where our story is going.
If you’re feeling particularly murky, here are my best suggestions:
- Allow yourself to take a break. Look away from the screen for just a little bit. Take a walk, listen to some music, take a bath. Do whatever you need to do to get through the middle. Now, I may be a little hypocritical, since I’m saying this as someone who wants that elusive 30-day-streak badge. There’s no real reason, but I just need it. So what does a break actually mean for me? Writing words without worrying about word count. Not reaching 1,667 words each day isn’t as important to me as building the everyday habit—especially since several days of sprinting has put me ahead. But even I know that sometimes everything is just off and you need a real break. So allow yourself a good, long break, if you need it.
- Refill your creative well. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard really great writers say this and it is just such a good way of looking at things. Consume everything. Whenever you can, even if you’re not really breaking, like me. Read books, watch movies, sit in on a few Y’all Write festival sessions. Allow other people’s creativity inspire you and fill your mind with fun things.
- Skip around in your novel. You may already be doing this, but generally, I like to write chronologically, so skipping around when I feel stuck is what helps me. If I’m not feeling a scene, I’ll skip ahead to something a bit more fun and go back later. In fact, I just did that this week. I had started a scene earlier in the week that just wasn’t happening, but I went back on Thursday and was able to finish the scene I’d previously left behind. Sometimes just skipping to the fun parts (kissy scenes, arguments, whatever you’re excited about) is enough to get you through the middle and ready to take on the end of the month.
If one of these doesn’t help, then you may have to figure out your own way of getting past your block. Maybe something in your story isn’t working. Maybe you need a real break where you don’t even think about your novel. No matter what you have going on, I believe in you. We can make it through the murky middle together.
Stay tuned for another update next week. We’ll see how the middle goes from here.
Don’t forget to join us on social media or on Discord and tell us how your week is going! See you on the battlefield—uh, I mean writing field.