Happy Official Second Week of NaNoWriMo! Feeling the drag? I am. This is the point at which the glorious feeling of updating your word-count finally wears off, and, as the weather coldens (now a word), all you want to do is sit down by the fire with a nice, warm mug of hot chocolate and a big, fat book…
This is not allowed.
Of course, reading is allowed, and a good writer should read, but everything in moderation. As the weather gets worse, I encourage you to have a nice, warm mug of hot chocolate (or coffee, or tea, or beverage of your choice). But be careful not to become too engrossed with your reading paradise.
Week Two of NaNoWriMo is infamous for being the week that most people quit. By now, that brand-new, shiny idea of a novel has worn out its sparkles, and there’s just a normal T-shirt left in its place. It’s hard not to walk towards the plot bunnies, and it’s hard not to walk away from writing altogether. Lots of us burn out quickly writing 2,000 words per day, every day, for 30 days. If you’re feeling burned out now, that’s okay. Most WriMos are. But if you’re at the point of no return, the point at which you cringe just looking at your laptop, just knowing that you’re going to have to write 2,000 words at some point today… I tell you, again: No! Stop!
NaNoWriMo is not a torture device. It’s simply a program designed to provide a community to help aspiring authors write their novels. Some days, yes, it will seem like torture. But most other days, it won’t. The NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaisons and Office of Letters and Light Staff encourage you to go on, despite everything. They encourage you to keep writing those 2,000 words a day, even if they are (and I quote) “crap,” because the only thing that matters is quantity, not quality. Well, OLL, I disagree.
Sometimes, NaNoWriMo is right for you, and sometimes, it’s not. Most people find out their first NaNoWriMo whether it works for them or not. I think most people find out during week two. You see, week one is full of lots of fun and games, a new, exciting community and a fancy little box in which to input your word-count. It’s Insta-Writer Stimulation, and the pretty graphics are enough to get me, at least, off Tumblr and onto a word doc. But it’s week two now, and this is the week of judgement.
NaNo is definitely not for all writers, and during week two, I encourage you to discover whether it is right for you. If it’s a drag for one day, that doesn’t necessarily mean NaNo is wrong for you. Writer’s block isn’t much of a sign, either, nor are your little skirmishes with the plot bunnies. All of these symptoms are normal, and you should be just fine and dandy during the next 19 days.
But are you feeling burned out? Are you grimacing every morning when your eyes alight on your laptop sitting inconspicuously on your desk, and you think to yourself: Oh, God. Here’s another day during which I have to at some point write 2,000 words of utter and complete nonsense? Chances are, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo of your own free will, you are a writer, and you like to write. So if NaNo is making your hobby seem like a chore, I encourage you–no I compel you–to drop it.
The fact is that NaNoWriMo is not for all writers. Some benefit from it, and some don’t. You just need to find what motivates you.
Uh… What? You just said. Okay, in your, like, last THREE posts, you’ve been encouraging us to do NaNoWriMo and write our hearts out for 30 days… and now you’re saying this?
Yes. You’re perfectly right. I encourage everybody to try NaNoWriMo. If you don’t try something, you’ll never know if you like it, will you? But if it doesn’t work out for you, I wholeheartedly encourage you to stop.
Week Two is the Week Of Judgement. Does it work for you, or does it not? Will you tough out the thirty, long days, or will you drop out? The choice is yours.
(If you need some extra motivation this coming week, I encourage you to adopt a dog. It’s what I did my first NaNoWriMo… no, seriously! Happy Adoption Day, Bindi! ❤ And thank you to all the veterans keeping us safe. I can’t thank you enough.)