Monday, December 7, 2015

Nano burnout?

Picture from nanowrimo.org
Hello All!

I hope your November was filled with writing and inspiration, but ::gasp::, November is over! For me, last month went by in a blur, and it probably had a lot to do with NaNoWriMo. Every day (well, *almost* every day), I would plop myself down and churn out ~2000 words. This was the first time that I have treated writing like a job with a set schedule and set measures to ensure productivity. Because of this, I was able to write 50,000 words last month. Biggest writing achievement to date. 

☆ Evie's Experience: +100 ☆

But...here's the thing--- I am nowhere near finishing my WIP. My initial goal was to have 100,000 words by the end of November, editing in the months to follow, and begin my querying after revisions and corrections. 

Writing 50,000 words in a month has burnt me out, and I'm only halfway through.

It felt like 50,000 words was such a feat, that now, I've somewhat plateaued in terms of word output. Originally, I set my goals according to daily word count so I could reach my NaNo goal by the end of the month. I am glad I did this, because I learned something about myself as a writer---I should not base my goals on word count.

Why?

Because I can write long-winded, cumbersome sentences in order to "meet" my count for the day. This, in turn, makes my writing suffer. Knowing my writing is purposely bloated derailed my motivation---thoughts of "Why am I even writing this if I'm just word-vomiting on the page?" plagued me and zapped me of my creative energy.

I am grateful for NaNo for teaching me this invaluable lesson now, rather than later. Now that I know what doesn't work for me, I can focus on what does. For some, maybe word counts work for you, and if it does, keep doing that! As for me, it's time for a little re-evaluation of how I am going to get this mammoth of a project done.

My new goal set for December? Finish actual scenes of my novel rather than word count. So, instead of telling myself I need to reach 2000 words a day, I now write my goals down like: "The goal for this week is to finish chapter ____, the fight scene between ____ and ____, or strengthening the ___ subplot. These goals ensure I write only what I need to write, and keeps me from checking my word count every five minutes.


What did you learn by doing NaNoWriMo/writing daily?


Here's to everyone who participated this year. Whether you "won" or not, it is absolutely amazing that you created something from nothing, and you should be proud of yourself for your accomplishment. Now that the hype is beginning to wear off from November, the real work begins for those of us who wish to take our writing further. 

50,000 words written during NaNo is amazing, but there is no need to rush into publishing it, or seeking out agents if this is what you want to do. Let your writing breathe for a while...come back to it with fresh eyes. But, perhaps that's a post for another day. :D

Well that's all for now. We are all in this writing thing together, so just keep at it! We can do it!

☆Evie☆

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