nanowrimo · Progress update

NaNoWriMo: Week Two Progress Update Plus Motivational Cat Photos

Guys, I’m still doing it! It’s the end of week two and I am still keeping up with this crazy challenge and I’m actually even doing pretty well! I just finished writing for this evening and my word count is at 26,425 with plans to crack 30k on Wednesday! Can you tell from all these exclamation points how shocked I am?! Because I am!

So far I have been blasting through my outline without re-reading or looking back or, heaven forbid, editing anything, so goodness knows whether I’ve written anything remotely coherent, but I guess we’ll find that out in December! I am expecting to come up against a problem at some point next week or even this week because I am actually around three quarters of the way through my outline already despite only being halfway through the word count. This is actually a pretty common problem for me and I think it’s because I’m a planner. Because I already have the next thing in my sights at any given time, I think I do have a tendency to hurry through the chapter at hand. Do any of my fellow planners also have this problem? Do you have any tips for how to handle it?

As I’ve been writing I have been coming up with a few things I want to go back and add in, so here’s hoping I will be able to reach the full 50k without running out of plot! If all else fails I guess there’s room in any story for a few unicorns or dinosaurs to step in and shake things up a bit, right? Right, definitely.

Anyway here are a few of the things that have been keeping me going in the second week of madness!

1. Yoga
Yeah, I don’t know if this is kind of a weird one because I haven’t really seen anything connecting yoga to NaNoWriMo, but I gotta tell you, it’s been working for me. Sitting at a desk for long periods of time is kind of a necessary part of NaNo, but it’s not so kind to your back and shoulders and after a while I can start to feel kind of achey and uncomfortable. I mentioned in my last post that I like to write in forty-minute sprints, so in between sprints I like to just take five or ten minutes to have a good stretch. If you have never tried yoga before but you think you maybe might kinda like it, I recommend checking out Tara Stiles on YouTube to help you get started with some basic moves.

2. Make notes as you go
This might be obvious to some people but it honestly wasn’t something that crossed my mind before I started. Now I just make sure to keep a notebook handy when I’m writing so I can jot down any thoughts and ideas as they come along without having to interrupt what I’m writing at that moment and without having to go back through my work to change things until I’m ready, because once you go back… well, yeah, you can get stuck there for a while.

3. Read something that matches your writing style
Some people can keep their reading and their writing completely separate. I am not those people. I am aware that the voice or tone of whatever I am reading at the time will somehow creep in and affect the voice and tone in which I write. I’m not trying to brag here by saying that all I have to do is take in a few lines of Hamlet and suddenly my writing bursts forth in beautiful Elizabethan iambic pentameter–it’s actually kind of an inconvenience because it has made it really hard for me to figure out my actual writing style and distinguish it from the style of whoever I happen to be reading. At the same time, I like reading, and I don’t want to stop doing it altogether just because I feel like also doing some writing. Although, you actually might find you need to do this if you really are struggling to uncover your own personal voice. However, now that I (finally) have a pretty good idea of mine, I find it usually helps me if I read somebody that writes in a similar kind of style if I plan to be doing a great deal of writing, just so it doesn’t jolt me into writing against my own grain. Right now I am reading B. S. Johnson who is a totally underrated post-modern writer and one of my absolute faves.

4. Cats
I recommend that you surround yourself with cats whenever possible during NaNoWriMo. They are friendly, pretty, and they have great concentration. If this is not possible for you right now, or if you just like cats and you can’t get enough of them, here are some photos of mine to help you:

His name is Watson, I hope he motivates you.

How are you getting along? Comment below to let me know and add me to your NaNo buddy list at EmilyAnn1992!

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