As of right now, the minute I’m writing this article, it is day seven of NaNoWriMo.
That, for me and you, is (hopefully) seven straight days of writing nearly 2,000 words.
I’ve managed to keep up with my writing every day so far, and maybe you have too, which we should always be proud of ourselves for.
But I have a question for you.
Have you hit a plateau in your writing?
I’m well aware that it’s hardly been a week, but I’ve gotten stuck more times than I’d care to admit, and I think some of you might have this issue as well.
So how can we avoid this problem? How can we push through our absolute worst days to continue to reach our goals?
Get It All Out There
If you’re a perfectionist, someone who has to continuously go back and change what you’ve written, then NaNoWriMo might be a bit of a struggle for you.
You’re going to have to change that.
If you’re stuck staring at a blank page and wondering how you’re supposed to write this many words this fast, then my first piece of advice is to get it all out there. Write anything that comes to mind. And I mean it. Literally anything.
Slap it onto the page. Type furiously as your character lets out a stream of consciousness that might not even make sense to you right now.
When you finish your NaNoWriMo, it’s not like it’ll immediately be published. People won’t be reading it on December first (probably), and you’ll have plenty of time to edit then.
So don’t worry about it now. At this moment, or in the future when you get stuck, just throw out anything and everything you can think of onto that page.
Look To Others For Help
I don’t mean asking your friends to tell you what to write, though I do find myself begging the people around me to write for me.
What I mean is look online for prompts. For sentence starters. For poems and excerpts from novels. Check every page on Google, Pinterest, your favorite blogs and websites, everywhere.
Start your next chapter with a sentence starter you found on a sixteen-year-old’s Pinterest page and go from there. You’ll surprise yourself with how easy it is to get going when you have someone else start you off.
If you’re stuck, millions of people will have ways to get you unstuck, so go take a look.
And unless you plan on this being your first and only draft, we’re not looking for perfection. We’re looking to get as much as we can done in as little time as possible, and this is one of the best ways to do it.
This is supposed to be fun. While not reaching your word count can be stressful and discouraging, it’s best not to focus too hard on it.
Don’t forget why you’re writing. NaNoWriMo gives you a lot of experience in a very short time period, and if you love to write, then you should love to be writing all month long.
Sometimes it sucks. Really, it sucks.
But that doesn’t mean your love for writing has magically gone away, or you’ve suddenly forgotten how to write. So don’t think that this is a problem that will never go away. Just continue to do what you know: and that’s write.
If You Want to Get Through NaNoWriMo, All You Need Is Speed
Don’t edit, don’t stop, and don’t slow down