Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Don't Look Back, It's Gaining On You! (NaNoWriMo November 18th)

I have an invitation to join other WriMos in a TweetChat this evening, remembering the journey to 50,000 words, but I'm barely staying ahead of the requisite 1,667 words per day. To my thinking, looking back to remember the journey is an invitation to disaster. And here's why:

Inner Editor: I TOLD You SO!

The journey to get halfway through November involves a constant battle to unlearn the urge to listen to your inner editor. Even allowing it to correct typos and add missing punctuation can be dangerousnext thing, it's arguing with your choice of character names, and telling you that Chapter 2 needs to be shortened and moved to the end of Chapter 18.

Looking back at the journey you've been on is likely to give amplification to that critical voice.

OP-Kids Are Better-Behaved

It's tempting to read the best bits of writing shared by other WriMos and compare it in your mind to the worst bits of your own writing, because your own problem children are on your mind, while others (and you, I hope) are only sharing publicly the things they are most proud of having written.

That inevitable internal comparison is just fuel for your inner editor. Don't feed it!

Not Writing Is Not Writing

Even for those fortunate few of us whose only job in November is writing 50,000 words or more of a novel, there is a certain minimum of other-directed writing we do. Blogging, posting to social media, corresponding in the NaNo forums or with your Writing Buddies are arguably part of the journey. But useful and pleasurable though they are, they don't count toward the 50K!

Tweets don't count either. But it's worse than that: chatting breaks the momentum.

Chuck Wendig warned us in his Terrible Minds blog post How To Motivate Yourself As a Writer (warning from his blog header: "He uses lots of naughty language. NSFW."):
"...momentum begets momentum... Writing is like heroin, that way. Heroin leads to heroin. Writing leads to writing."

Bottom Line Time

We know of a few writers who've already reached 50K by November 18th. Some of those prolific and successful WriMos are planning to write more in November. I doubt we'll see them in the TweetChat either. They obviously know the secret to producing word count: Keep writing!

Just keep writing!

Total at 1:39PM: 33,333 words. I just like that number...

Total: 34,011 words.