Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nano is over, now what?

December is now here, and with it National Novel Writing Month has come to a close. In some ways I'm quite thankful for that fact, and in others, I'm panicking. If you've looked over at the nifty new word count meters, you'll see that I'm at about 52,722, I'll admit I'm beginning to ease off the high of "winning" NaNo. Now I just have to keep up with the writing to bring me across the real finish line of scribbling The End after my characters have taken their bow.

So, that leads me to my topic of Motivation or Inspiration. I've heard of writers that talk about writing when the mood hits them, and I have to admit that I've been guilty of that as well, but how does one make it through the days of not feeling like it and just doing it? Whatever it takes! Whether you bribe yourself with chocolates and cookies, or just sit down in the chair and write, it's still important to work consistently on your work-in-process. If you don't, I've learned that the writing just gets "cold." You begin not to have the passion for it as much, then as each day goes by excuses start to come about. After a while, life clears up and you sit back down to find out that you're not as passionate about the characters and potentially scrap it to write a different story. I've been there too many times.

My goal is to complete my correct WIP (work-in-progress) by the end of the month. I see it as achievable, especially since I've hopped on board to Sven Says Sweat (and dragged Sierra and Gracen into it. Are you game, Tierney?) *winks* It's a 70 day challenge to write 4-6 pages a day on your current manuscript or manuscripts to end up at the end with a 60,000-100,000 word novel. Am I a challenge junkie? Maybe so, but I've found that challenges make me park myself in front of the computer and work on my novels. Not that taking a long break after November wouldn't be nice, but... I don't want to put my novel at risk of an untimely scrapping.

How about you? Are you swayed by inspiration and motivation? Or do you just do it? What do you think of writing challenges?

Oh, and I promise to write on a fun topic next week like Bigfoot or werewolves! *smiles*

7 deadly screams:

Molly Daniels said...

As I reported last week, my NaNo count ended up at the 18-19K range. But the last two days has produced another 1400 words, with more coming today! Nice of the brain to wake up AFTER NaNo ended!

Last year I fought through the 'dry days'; now I seem to just step away and do something else creatively. Apparently it's working.

Rachel D. Thompson said...

I tend to be too much of the 'wait until inspiration strikes' type, which is why NaNo is so useful to me. It keeps me motivated to keep going, even on days that I don't feel like writing. I managed to hit just over 50,000 words this year. Now I just have to keep going so that I can come out of this with a completed novel.

After November 30th, all I feel like doing is taking a nice long break, but I know my characters deserve better than that. I can't say I'm a challenge junkie--NaNo is really a struggle for me to commit myself to that much writing. But I still want to do the best thing for my characters by continuing to work on their story.

Sierra Wolfe said...

Great post today Sarah! I have to admit to being a challenge junkie too. Even if it's just the 20 minute writing challenges, I can be so much more productive if I challenge myself. I set my goals and see if I can make them. I do so much better that way.

I have a tendency to write when I feel like it too. That's another reason that challenges keep me motivated. If it wasn't for that, I'd probably let a lot more writing time slip away from me.

Congrats to everyone on their NaNo accomplishments. You all did excellent!

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for the comments.

Molly: That's great that you've been writing quite a bit! I'm so happy for you. It's awesome that you did get 18-19k done.

Rachel: I so agree with you. I struggle a little to commit myself to the amount of writing Nano involves, but it feels so good to finish a project. Best wishes on your story. *smiles*

Sierra: Thanks! I do a lot better with challenges, too. I get more done and am more productive with them.

Karen Johnson said...

Maybe Sven is what I need. I keep saying I want to write this book but I can be a 'write when I feel like it' person too. I have to check it out.

Congrats on reaching your count in NaNo!!

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Thanks, Karen! Congrats on reaching your count as well! I've toyed with the idea of doing Sven before, but this year I'm actually doing to it. Yay!

Tierney O'Malley said...

Hey Sarah,

Awesome blog!
Don't know about the Sven Says Sweat challenge. I'll think about it. :D (I'm a chicken, ha!)

Hey, thanks for asking about motivation or inspiration--last year I blogged about it on my website.You can find it here:
I revisited the blog and realized I don't use the grim anymore. Instead, I go for a walk--if the weather is nice. Fresh air helps clear my head and most of the time I pick up fresh ideas by doing that.

Good luck on the WIP. It is achievable. Hope to see you online.