Curing the NaNo Blues

Curing the NaNo Blues

It’s Day 4 of NaNoWriMo, and I find myself already hitting a familiar stage of a new book. “This isn’t going well.” “This is not the brilliant, fresh story I had imagined.” “I should quit writing.” While I’m not that experienced of an author yet, I’ve finished enough books now to recognize what’s happening. I see the symptoms and know them for what they are now. And I can ignore it, like that gas bubble masquerading as a heart attack. So I scribbled down some musings, both for myself and those who are in the same stage. Don’t give in to the shiny new ideas. These are your brain’s way of saying “it’s okay not to finish.” There will always be another idea. Creativity begets creativity. So when that idea lodges itself in your skull like an Occupy WriMo protester, scribble down the salient points, then say “You’ll just have to wait your turn.” And get back to the WIP. This is the only way you will ever finish anything. Do not get discouraged when you realize your WIP sucks compared to that awesome book you read recently. Or even compared to that inexplicably popular YA that made you go “They published THAT?! Monkeys throwing feces at a typewriter could do better!” You are comparing first attempts at something that has been edited, polished, and waxed like a Hollywood starlet headed to the red carpet. This is a normal reaction, but it’s one you have to squelch to get anything accomplished. Do not stop if it feels like your story is struggling. That doesn’t mean you ride that train...