Monday, November 21, 2011

NaNoWriMo – Week 3 – How do you maintain momentum?

Three weeks into NaNoWriMo, and I began to wonder: how do all the thousands of writers out there keep up the pace? I have to admit, the first two weeks for me were like a new relationship: everything was sparkly and grand. Then I got the third week, and it hit me: NaNo is WORK. Grueling WORK. It’s a tough pace to maintain for an extended period of time. Exhausting, even.

So how do I keep myself motivated and maintain momentum? The short answer: I’m a workaholic. If I’m not working, I’m thinking about work and/or planning projects. (I generally have at least 3 projects in the air at once, lest I risk boredom.) So my momentum is maintained simply by being who I am. Luckily I am married to a wonderful man who is totally supportive of my work addiction.

I checked in with my NaNo support group, and here’s what they have to say about it:

Arlene Ang says: The first thing I tell myself when I wake up in the morning is "I can do this!" Then I take my coffee and start writing. I don't think of anything else. I don't even answer the phone. I'm dead to the world and the only way I can return to the land of the living is to type and save those 1,667+ words.

Dinesh Pulandram says: I keep visualizing the day I can live as a full time writer. That pulls me through! (Author’s note: Dinesh decided to start NaNo on 11/15 to see if he could write 50,000 words in 30 days.)

Erin Wilcox says: I went to a local write-in last week, and while it was fun and pretty productive, I think my best course is still to wake up and write first thing every day. When I do that, I set the tone that writing is my priority. The habit seems to be getting instilled at a subconscious level now. When I wake up I feel that I should be writing. As for a daily target, I'm not too concerned about that. I love the process, so the main challenge is allowing myself to prioritize my writing and showing up at the page. Once I'm there, the work flows.

What about other writers out there? Any tips for keeping up with the momentum of NaNo? What are you doing to keep yourself motivated to hit your daily target?

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