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Writer Wednesday: NaNoWriMo Motivation & Set Backs

Good morning authors and welcome to another Writer Wednesday where we talk shop, industry, and more. Now, there are a few other topics I could be covering, such as the ongoing exodus of authors from Kindle Unlimited due to Amazon's handling of AI or the continuing battleground of book bans or several other topics. Instead, today's blog is focused more on writing, something that often becomes increasingly more difficult to find the motivation for when everything around you is a mess. #ICYMI this month is National Novel Writing Month where authors set a personal challenge to themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days. And, if you are like me, you may have gotten off to a wobbly start.

NaNoWriMo Motivation & Set Backs

We've heard time and time again that writing is a marathon and not a sprint. The core challenge of NaNoWriMo does the big ask by pushing that marathon style into overdrive. NaNoWriMo IS a month long sprint, and if you aren't use to that demand or carving out the time for it in a packed schedule you may find yourself struggling to meet even the fairly daily word count NaNoWriMo sets to begin. At the start, NaNoWriMo asks for roughly 1,666 or so words a day. Depending your writing style, typing speed, and a dozen other factors, that is a time commitment of a few hours minimum. If you manage to blaze, if you could clock out that word count at maybe ninety minutes or less.

Falling behind in the first week of NaNoWriMo feels awful. And many of us want to throw in the towel. This challenge is rough and it feels like it falls in the worst month of the year to do this sort of challenge, with holidays and the beginning of the sniffle season. When a head cold can bottom out your motivation, how and should try to catch up?

To many of us, even that mystical 90 minute commitment feels overwhelming when you fall behind, but what many of us forget is NaNoWriMo is not asking for 50,000 coherent words. This is a speed challenge, not a final draft challenge, which is why NaNoWriMo's follow up months are filled with editing challenges. I bring up this point because even you are on day 8 and your word count is abysmal, you may be able to catch up if you can shift you mind set. Draft fast and messy, edit after.

That being said, there is also no shame in throwing in the towel. Life is short and there are plenty of other tasks on your plate. But maybe, you don't have to completely give up.

NaNoWriMo is a speed challenge, but its true value remains a call to the pen and the keyboard. The core concept and the reason authors continue to throw themselves into the fray, time and time again, is this challenge is about getting words out. And sometimes, when you are struggling through weeks and months of writers block, it can be the sort of challenge that finally gives you an opportunity to squeeze anything and everything out on the page. Toss the plans out the window and let whatever comes, come. It doesn't matter if you write 5k or 50k, what matters is getting words flowing again. And in this cesspool of current events, I'll take any motivation I can get.

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