NaNoWriMo-Another Week Has Come and Gone

Each week, we NaNo writers receive a lively pep talk in our email boxes from a well known author. To get us revved up for week one, novelist Tom Robbins advised us to ditch any detailed plans we might have for the evolution of our novel, and let it evolve into being as we go, powered by instinct and a sense of adventure. “If you know the whole story in advance,” he wrote, “your novel is probably dead before you begin it.”

Last week, mystery writer Sue Grafton helped us crawl out from under the blanket of self doubt that begins to creep in – along with fatigue and waning enthusiasm – during the second week of writing. “The important point,” she advised, “is to keep up your momentum regardless of the fact that you might stumble now and then. Most people you know have never written a novel at all, let alone pounded one out in a jam-packed thirty days.”

Today, Sara Gruen talked about the many ways life intrudes, despite our best intentions. A sick dog and a broken foot have landed her far behind her projected daily word count. If you’re behind, stop worrying about following the trajectory of your story in a straight line. “Jump around and write the fun bits,” she writes, “like food fights, and disastrous sex, and escaping in-laws, and apes with unlimited credit!”

Here’s my mantra for this project, the personal pep talk I give myself when I’m trudging to the computer to work on my own daily word count:

Don’t think, just write.

Don’t think about going back and rewriting the part where Treesa and John meeting at the USO dance. Don’t think about whether I should reveal if Andrew Sutton’s death was suicide or an accident. Don’t think about why Treesa’s daughter is so against the idea of marriage. And above all, don’t think about the laundry I should be doing, or the medical records I should be reviewing, or the bills I should be paying.

Just write.


5 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo-Another Week Has Come and Gone

  1. Early this morning I was lying awake thinking (never a good idea before coffee) and realized I’ve been thinking my way through writing too often. The best stories always come when I shut off the linear, logical part of my brain and let myself drift.

    “Don’t think, just write.” A perfect reminder.

  2. I’m impressed with the advice given to participants – as well as your own mantra … yes, just write! Write on, baby!
    Peace, xx, JP/deb

  3. That’s wonderful advice those writers provide for participants – “Just write” has been trawling across my screen for the past two years. And Norman Mailer said the same thing about not knowing the ending in advance. Also, I never think about word count. I just write until I feel it’s done for the day. I know this Nov. group makes a big deal about 50,000 words; am not sure anybody else makes a fuss about how many words they write on a set day – it’s not the quantity, but the quality that counts. The important thing is just to write, write and keep writing! It sounds as though you’re doing just fine.

  4. Oh… I’m getting nowhere, absolutely nowhere with Nano. I’m playing stupid computer games. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll get back on the horse. I feel all guilty getting these great pep-talks, and then not doing anything about it!

  5. Great post! I love your advice every bit as much as the famous authors’ advice. I’m hoping to do NaNoWriMo next year–and it’s fun “participating” by watching you go through it!

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