Congratulations, writers! You have reached the halfway point of National Novel Writing Month. Now, have you written 25,000 words? Even if you haven’t, don’t fret! Staying motivated during one of the busiest months of the year—just as the holiday season is upon us—is a difficult feat, but look no further. Here are five ways to stay motivated on writing your novel during NaNoWriMo 2016.
List compiled by ChinLin Pan
You’re not sure how to write a particular scene?
I highly recommend seeking resources online. The first place you can look is the NaNoWriMo forums. If you want sources outside of NaNoWriMo, a simple Google search will point you in the right direction. Personally, I’ve found that the resources from YA Highway help me a lot. You may also want to look for sources specific to the genre of your novel.
Saying “I’m too busy,” “I don’t have time,” or “Writing is too time-consuming.”
The statements above are all excuses. Yes, we are all busy individuals. Yes, you have 24 hours per day and most of that time is for your job, taking care of family, eating, sleeping, commuting, etc. And yes, writing is a time-consuming activity. But, guess what? You knew all of this when you committed to NaNoWriMo to begin with. So, my advice: Prioritize your responsibilities and make time for writing. Most writers lose hours of sleep because they are writing. That sucks, but that is why you have coffee to wake up in the mornings. Also, from experience, if you are behind on your word count, I would devote extra time on weekends (and/or Thanksgiving Break if you are a student). You would not believe the amount of writing you can get done. You will surprise yourself.
Talk to other writers.
I have a handful of friends who share the same aspiration as me: to write a book and get it published someday. Don’t let the busyness that is November discourage you from writing your novel. Text your fellow writers. Meet up at a park or somewhere that you can be active on your feet. Talk about your books. What’s troubling you? Do you need a second opinion about a character’s actions or motives? Your fellow writers are here to help (myself included!).
Search for inspirational quotes about writing.
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE quotes. Any quotes about life, feminism, writing, art, science, humanity, etc. Quotes can easily motivate you in any situation. One of my favorite quotes is from F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Writers aren’t exactly people. They’re a bunch of people trying to be one person.” Or another famous quote from Ernest Hemingway: “Write drunk. Edit sober.”
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to finish the novel over the course of this month.
The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. If you meet the 50,000 words, but do not finish the novel, it’s ok. Writing something—50,000 words—is better than having written nothing. If your first draft is incomplete, you can still finish it later. But, be proud of yourself for having accomplished the 50,000 word requirement.
Hope this advice helps, fellow writers! Also remember that you are writing a first draft of your novel. Don’t worry too much; just write. Best of luck on your NaNoWriMo pursuits!