It’s November 2. Do you know where your novel is?
I decided to start the month with a bang and crank out 10,000 words on day one in order to keep my energy high and spirits up. I’m glad I put so much work into my outline, because now I always know what happens next, and I can feel a little bit more free to play around in the text without too much fear that I’m running off the deep end.
Last night, too, I had something of a revelation: everyone’s a discovery writer on the sentence level. I dunno. Over time, I think, writers get better and better at knowing what they want to say and how they want to say it, but each sentence escapes differently from the fingertips. If it didn’t , we wouldn’t need editors. So, keeping that in mind has helped me maintain some of the spontaneity of the process.
Another thing that’s helped me keep energy and momentum up is that I love the story I’m working on, and I love the characters. I’m not sure I could continue if I didn’t. (And, really, in 2010, that’s what happened. After three days, I switched stories altogether, because I just was not in love with what I was doing.)
If you’re not doing NaNoWriMo, that’s fine too: cheer on someone who is! I find it gets easier for me every year, but a lot of new writers struggle with tapping into that creativity vein. The only way to get used to it is to keep on doing it, over and over, until it’s second nature. And sometimes all we need to keep going is a little encouragement.