NaNoWriMo has come and gone and I won with 60,000 words. That is fantastic and I am very proud of myself. But then December rolled around and with the Christmas holidays and being sick with the flu, I only wrote another 13,000 words on top of that. Needless to say, I still haven’t finished my book yet. I have to admit I find it hard to keep myself motivated when I don’t have the pressure of NaNoWriMo. While for me that pressure is not sustainable over a period longer than a month, it would be nice to have some sort of accountability for how much I write each month. I have made myself a simple Excel graph which shows my progress per month and that definitely helps, but no one knows whether I actually progress or not. So I may publish my stats here on the blog each month, just so that I have some sort of public shaming (even if it is only in my head) if I do badly in a month.
The problem with writing is that if you keep the momentum going and you write every day, it is fairly easy to keep the story flowing. When you don’t write for a week (which happened to me in December when I was sick), it is that much harder to get back into it.
I found it therefore very heartening to read on other writers’ blogs that their New Year’s resolution was to write every day, even if it is just 100 words. And these are writers who do not have a full time job in addition to their writing. So if even they have a hard time staying focused and motivated, I shouldn’t beat myself up so much.
I think part of why writing is hard for me this time around is because I didn’t properly plan my novel. On one hand I find it very liberating and I enjoy being able to explore where my characters are going. On the other hand, there will be SO much editing to do when I am done. I already am keeping notes in a notebook of what needs to change and it is disheartening to realise how much tightening up I still need to do (not to mention fixing all the inconsistencies that are springing up like weeds).
BUT: I know that writing makes me happy. Even if I don’t feel like sitting down and writing, I know that once I have written a chapter, or scene, I feel so relaxed and happy. And that should be motivation enough. (Also, now that I have fixed my laptop up with a SSD and more memory, it is so much faster, so that makes it easier too.) (Plus the fact that I am using Scrivener now.)
So no more excuses, on to writing another scene!