Well it is Hallowe’en and NaNoWriMo Eve, which means that it is a good night to get dangerously hyped up on sugar and caffeine and write until your fingers fall off! It is also an excellent time to figure out and fight back against your fears of writing. (See what I did there?)
Since I don’t want to break the rules and start my NaNo project a few hours early, I am going to do some more planning for the work. I am mostly sure of what I am doing, I have an exhausting list of scenes to write and this book and the next three planned out, but I still feel like I haven’t done enough work. Unfortunately, it seems like that is just something I am going to have to get used to carrying with me as I go on this journey. After all, I’ve felt pretty similar to this, unprepared and anxious, about NaNo projects in the past and I’ve been a lot less prepared than I am right now!
Ultimately, I think NaNo is so great because it makes you confront those fears about jumping into a story. And it makes you keep going when you start wanting to be anywhere else and doing anything else. You run out of excuses when the challenge isn’t to write a certain number of good words, but 1,666 words, any words, every day for a month.
It also means that I will have to think about how I am doing this in a more long term way. I have a bad habit of either putting off work until the last minute, or diving in at the beginning and then getting burned out and not doing very much at all for the rest of the time. NaNo forces you to keep doing a set amount every day, and you end up learning how to work around that target. It really is a fantastic way of learning what your limits are and how you can bend them.
For example, I know that I write best in the evening. But, by the time evening has come around there is a lot less time to get things done (plus things like dinner and walking the dog have a schedule I can’t avoid) so I need to try and get some done earlier on in the day, and then use my evening inspiration rush to finish things off and get ahead. I find that my writing comes more easily later on, but that doesn’t mean that I should box myself in by limiting the time period I can write. Basically, by saying, “Oh, I only write well in the evening so I’ll only write in the evening,” I am stopping myself from having any opportunity to prove that belief wrong. AND I am limiting the amount of time I have to write by a significant amount. So, it’s not a great idea, is the general idea.
So, this month, I am going to try and break the habits that I have built up, and write earlier on in the day. Hopefully if I can do that, not only will I get more done, but I will also have less stressful evenings when I am trying to grind out enough words to reach my target for the day, despite there not nearly being enough time to do so.