NaNoWriMo 2016 Week 4 – Take a Break

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participant

I’m sensing a pattern here… I seem to be able to write nonstop every other week and then just not write for a week straight. This past week was particularly difficult what with the holiday and I’ve just been so incredibly tired. I just want to sleep constantly and I don’t know why. So I didn’t write any words this week, but I’m okay with that. I mean, I’m not, but I’ve accepted that life happens and it’s going to happen. If you’re stuck in a rut too, I hear ya. But we’ve got a few days left, so let’s make it count, yeah?

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of November 30th.

My average daily goal is to write 1,667 words.

Stats for Week 4

Day 20: 0 words
Day 21: 0 words
Day 22: 0 words
Day 23: 0 words
Day 24: 0 words
Day 25: 0 words
Day 26: 0 words

Total Words: 37,083 words

*I’m not including today, November 27th, as the day is not over yet. Today’s word count will be in next week’s recap.

This Week’s Advice: Take a Break

It’s probably not what you wanted or were expecting to hear this week. I don’t mean do what I do and take a week off in between writing; I mean give yourself a break. A few hours, a couple minutes, or a whole day. Your brain needs to rest if it’s going to keep giving you words to write, so you need to give it the rest it deserves and needs.

Sometimes it’s more beneficial than just chugging along to reach the word count or to reach your own personal goals. We all can’t chug out a crap ton of words in a single day. That’s fine! You have to do what you can and accept it and go with it. Don’t get discouraged if you fall behind as a result. Even if you don’t win, look at the progress you’ve made. Look at it! You’ve done that all on your own. So give yourself a much needed break and relax for a little while.

That being said, though, don’t just drop writing completely. I mean, look at my progress above: NOTHING written this week. Zero. Zilch. It happens. I’m not going to let it get me down. I’ll power through if I have to, but even if I don’t, I’m still very happy with the progress I’ve made this month and I’m so glad I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

Keep going! But take the breaks you need. Read a book, go for a walk, play with your dog/kid/guinea pig, play a video game, watch movies (Moana was amazing, go see it), but above all: don’t stress. R E L A X. I know it can be hard, but you can’t strain yourself over it.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How has this week gone for you? We’re in the home stretch! Are you excited? Did you already reach 50k? How much more do you have to go? What are you doing to take a break during this time? Let me know!

Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4 Recap & Wrap Up

CNW_Participant

Well, this month was very difficult for me to get into my writing mojo, but I started several projects, wrote more for some over others, so I’m interested to see if I’ll continue with any of them.

Goal

50,000 words total by the end of April 30th.

That’s the equivalent to a 200-225 page book. So my average daily word count goal to reach my main goal is to write 1,667 words per day.

Stats for Week 4

Day 23: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 24: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 25: 0 words for a total of 18,273 words
Day 26: 2,617 words for a total of 20,890 words
Day 27: 1,397 words for a total of 22,287 words
Day 28: 0 words for a total of 22,287 words
Day 29: 395 words for a total of 22,682 words
Day 30: 0 words for a total of 22,682 words

This Week’s Advice: Don’t Feel Rushed or Pressured to Write

I think this is an extremely important point to remember when writing: don’t feel rushed or pressured to finish in a certain amount of time (unless you’re on deadline, then good luck to you!). When writing for a competition like this (even though it’s not really a competition), it can get overwhelming to write a certain amount of words in a month if you’ve never done so before.

If you’re like me and a lot of other people, you’ll expect perfection and everything to flow smoothly your first go around, and that’s just not the case. Even seasoned writers and well known authors don’t even have that luck. I think it’s fairly common to get into the mindset that your writing is the best or maybe it’s not good enough, and you end up comparing yourself to another writer.

Stop that. Because there will always be someone better than you, but you have to remember: what you do is your best at this moment. You can, and will, get better with time and practice.

This past month I’ve barely written anything toward my goal. Well, okay, I’m a little over half way to my goal, but if I had actually written the past two weeks instead of derping around then maybe I would have actually reached that goal this month. But the reality is that I struggled a lot with my original idea, I wrote three or four other things before finding one that I really enjoyed writing, and even that changed in front of my eyes as I wrote it and got to know my characters more.

But there’s something important that I realized while I was writing this new idea: I can’t rush it.

I want to take my time to get to know my characters, to learn who they are, what they like and don’t like, what their mannerisms are, their backstories. And I can only learn that by writing them out and letting them lead where the story needs to go. I can only interfere so much before I know that something isn’t working and my characters take the lead again.

Writing isn’t about rushing or having the most perfect piece of work ever, but it’s a slow process of learning your characters, your story, and most importantly, yourself as a writer. Keep your chin up, fellow writers, because even though Camp NaNoWriMo happens twice a year and NaNoWriMo happens once a year doesn’t mean you can’t write throughout the entire year.

Take the time to slow down, reflect on what you’ve written, and keep going because YOU created that new piece of art. YOU created something only YOU can tell. And that’s the most important part.

Wrap Up

So this last month was less than stellar for my writing, but I still made progress on several stories, so that’s really what matters.

My ending total: 22,682 words

My Goal: 50,000 words

If I had stuck to it I definitely could have reached my goal, but life and other things got in the way, unfortunately. I still had fun and will probably participate again.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How was your writing month? Did the words flow or did you struggle like me? Did you find out anything new about your characters when you were writing that you weren’t expecting? Let me know!