We’ve officially hit the halfway mark of Camp NaNo… and we’re slowly dying.
At least some of us are? I mean, I’M DOING GREAT. Partly because it’s a THREE-DAY WEEKEND WHAT IS THIS MAGICAL NONSENSE???
*cries* I’m fine.
I actually am doing fine, though. I’m ON TRACK and starting to go a little bit above my daily goal, which is SUPER AWESOME, because I really want to surpass my word count goal of 15K. #overachiever
(Okay, I’m not REALLY an overachiever. I just want to SUCCEED.)
(And succeed a little more.)
But just like in books, the middles always sag. You’re probably feeling down, unmotivated, and just plain uninspired. (And if you aren’t, WUT TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.)
I’m feeling pretty unmotivated myself. On Wednesday, when I posted my Writerly Update, I actually caught up. But then on Thursday I failed. BUT NOW I’M GOOD but still having trouble motivating myself to reach that daily word count goal.
SO, I decided to write a Writer Woes post on that! If you haven’t checked the first edition of this writing advice series, check it out here.
What Writer Woes is
Writer Woes is a writing advice series brought to you by MOI (May). The advice given will be decided upon by whatever MOI (May) is currently suffering with. Because if she talks about her problems, there is a 97% chance that they will be solved. (The other 3% chance is that she’ll just end up agonizing over her life choices and ranting about all her other problems. #oops)
If you have requests for any advice you’d like to get, contact me through the form on my Contact page, or let me know in the comments.
Today’s advice will talk about how to keep writing when you’re feeling unmotivated (if you couldn’t tell by the long intro).
Sadly, this Writer Woes doesn’t compare writing to taking over the world. I’M SORRY.
1. find someone to word war with.
Okay. So this is like THE most motivational writing tool ever. And possibly sprints.
A word war is basically where you challenge a person to write from this time to this time, and whoever writes the most “wins”.
For example: I challenged Violet to a 5 minute word war from :45 to :50. Naturally, I won (at like 221 words), but she was close at 178. I HAVE A GOOD MEMORY
usually DON’T ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS
But honestly in two or three word wars, I can meet my daily word count goal for Camp. (But this can apply to ANY writing, not just for NaNo!)
Word wars are especially motivational if you’re competitive (like me).
You can also do fun sprints and things like that at websites like Write or Die.
2. read some good books
This was a tip I included in my last Writer Woes post, but it works. Good books and good writings can inspire you to want to write something good as well. Just simply reading amazing books can make you go HEY I’M GOING TO WRITE A NOVEL AS GREAT AS THAT.
And who am I to stop you???
Well I am a queen but shh.
3. read your previous writing(s)
This can either be previous parts of your current writing project, orrrrr just anything you’ve written before. Horrible writing can make you want to write better (because face it, we were all terrible at writing before). Good writing makes you think, Holy cow I was actually good at writing??? This is enjoyable??? Let’s do more of this???
Or maybe you’ll just end up reminiscing about those good ol’ days where everything was less stressful.
4. set up a spreadsheet/graph to see how much you’re writing
This would be something to do if you’re trying to motivate yourself to write every day, but it can work for just trying to write a lot too! If you can make a graph of how many words you write a day, it gets REALLY motivational to see bars go up as you write more.
You can either make it day by day (500 this day, 600 another), or you can go day PLUS day (500 this day, 1100 another). Oh dear that probably made no sense ASK ME QUESTIONS Y’ALL.
For me, especially because I’m a visual (and competitive) person, seeing how much I write each day makes me want to write more and more and more because I WANT TO REACH THE TOP.
(If you’re doing Camp, the website makes a graph for you already. 😉 )
5. talk about writing and/or your novel
You guys know me. I LOOOOOOVE TO TALK ABOUT WRITING! Whether it be about my charries or how I worldbuild or my writing goals, I can talk for hoooooours.
And most of the time, when I do talk about these WONDERFUL THINGS, I end up wanting to write and do what I mentioned. Like I talk about developing characters and suddenly I want to GO AND CREATE ALL THESE MAGNIFICENT LITTLE CHARRIES. Or perhaps one of my writing goals is to write 100K a year (HAHAHA NO) so then I’ll just fly off on my little mango chariot to WRITE 50K* SO I’LL BE HALFWAY THERE.
And you can either talk to yourself or talk to another person. I prefer talking to myself because no one listens to me better than meeeeee.
(Also no one is there to judge you on your weird writer-ness. *cries*)
*btw this would never happen. i don’t think i could honestly write 50K in a year???
6. skip around
This more applies to novels, but the #1 cause of lack of motivation, as confirmed by me, is LACK OF INSPIRATION. So if you’re not inspired to write the scene you’re currently on, skip around! Write a scene that’s to come later on, one that you’re excited to write, or maybe write scenes from your character’s backstory—which is good for pantsers who don’t know what they’re going to write in the future.
Writing the parts you want to write will inspire you again, and therefore motivate you to write even more! So don’t be afraid to skip around. (Just make sure to make your way back to wherever you were to continue writing from that point.)
I 100% guarantee this will work. (I’ve obviously tried it.) And if it doesn’t, feel free to file a customer complaint and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. reward yourself but NEVER punish yourself
Promise yourself that when you reach a certain amount of words, you will allow yourself to eat one (or two or three or ten million) chocolate bar. And make sure that when you reach that certain amount of words, YOU ACTUALLY REWARD YOURSELF.
Because sometimes we’re all mangolds like Mahriya and forget things.
However, you should NEVER punish yourself if you DON’T reach your goals. That just teaches your subconscious mind* that whenever you fail, you get horribly beaten and abused. That may make you not want to fail, but SELF-PUNISHMENT IS NOT GOOD FOR THE SOUL. OR THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND. DON’T DOUBT ME. I SPEAKTH THE TRUTH.
*Scientific investigations have been made on this. I do not lie. Ask anyone. It is true.
8. force! your! self! to! write!
Sometimes, nothing works but FORCING yourself to sit down and just WRITE. You can do this without exing out all your tabs, or clearing away any distractions. Just pull up whatever you’re working on and TYPE. (Or write, if you’re a smol traditional writer.)
Okay, so you might end up staring at a blank screen/sheet of paper for some time, but you HAVE TO START. You’re not going to get anywhere if you do!
9. remind yourself that you’ll never get better if you don’t PRACTICE
How are you ever going to be a #1 New York Times bestselling author with five million famous (and well-written) books if you don’t WRITE? Just think about all your books in a bookstore, with fabulous covers and your name printed on them… and now imagine that they DISAPPEAR BECAUSE THEY DON’T EXIST BECAUSE YOU NEVER WROTE BECAUSE YOU WERE UNMOTIVATED AND TOO LAZY TO FOLLOW THESE TIPS.
Nothing’s more motivating then visualizing a future where you live in a crumbling apartment with your half cousins and struggling to pay rent and feed yourself because YOU. DIDN’T. WRITE.
are you wondering what a mangold is now? do you think these (wonderful) tips will help you? (and have you “done” some of them already?) what do YOU do to motivate yourself to write? chaaaaaat wiiiiiiith meeeee. (please.)