Monday, November 22, 2010


The writing life is all about focus.  I've dedicated the entire month of November to writing a novel (or most of a novel more likely than not) and let me tell you something: staying focused is hard.  How do we as writers, keep going back to the page day after day, week after week?  To be honest, I'm still trying to figure this one out myself.

I'm writing to you from the week four trenches of NaNoWriMo and I am almost 4000 words behind with Thanksgiving and November 30th on the horizon.  I don't love my story any less than I did from day one and watching it bloom from an idea into an 80+ page word document has been amazing (plot holes and all), but after almost a month of pure, unforgiving focus, this is what I have to say: I'm tired.

I'm all for discipline in writing, but is there a point at which one can say they are too focused, so much so that it is detrimental to the work at hand?  I'm beginning to think so.  This is only my second year doing NaNoWriMo and this is my second time reaching the end of the race and feeling everything pittle out of me.  I'm running on empty, but I still want to keep going.

So, how can one recharge their writing battery? Here are a few things I'm trying out and finding some success in.

1) Read.  There have been points where I'm writing and I think to myself, "Self, you've used this sentence structure so many times now it's boring me to tears.  Why are we doing this to ourselves?!"  I've found that reading a short story or chapter of a favorite book has been a good reminder of why I'm writing this silly "novel" in the first place.  It's also a great way to pick up some pointers on how to flesh out your own sentences and pad that word count (or insert writing goal here).

2) Write something else.  Something short and therapeutic.  Like a random short scene or a blog post about how you can't write your story.

3) Keep on Trucking.  You've hit a rough patch, but that doesn't mean it's the end of the road.

As always, please share your thoughts and motivational tips.  See you in December!  *HONK HONK*