Persistent and Consistent: A Pep Talk for Myself

The title of this post is a mantra that I’ve learned from my wonderful business coach. Showing up is key. Currently, it’s helping me with my progress through NaNoWriMo.

I’ve written 37,650 words, and so I’m well set up to “win” at the goal of 50K this month. However, that won’t be the end of my novel. I’m aiming for 100K or so total, which means that I’ll be about halfway through the draft by November 30th.

Although the numbers look good, I’ve been struggling a bit with this second novel of my series.

I didn’t take as much time as I usually do for the setup part. Mostly because I was busy with other things. I didn’t write out my main characters’ GMC (goal, motivation, and conflict) like I did with book one. I haven’t yet fleshed out all of the plot points, so it feels like I don’t know quite where I’m aiming. As a result, doing the writing each day feels like a bit of a slog.

I’m not yet in love with this novel.

But I’m still working on it. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to make progress on a draft, not to have a finished product. And while doing the actual writing (along with all of my other work and family tasks) means I don’t have time to stop and do more plotting and planning, it’s temporary. My plan is to go with the flow, get to the end of NaNoWriMo, and then pause. I’ll use at least part of December to get my outline more solid (though still leaving room for discovery and for characters to forge their own way). Then I’ll start again, and finish the draft.

And hopefully fall in love with the story.

It might mean I need to go back and add or subtract from the first half of the draft. But I’m okay with that.

By being persistent and consistent, I’ll not only “win” at NaNoWriMo, but I’ll be practicing my writing craft, and staying open to the gems that do arise from the depths of my imagination. Then I can polish them up a bit and make sure their setting shines, as well.

So even though I often feel reluctant about sitting down to work on the novel, overall I have faith. There are only eight more days left of November. I’ve got this.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Persistent and Consistent: A Pep Talk for Myself

  1. Congrats on persevering with NaNo. Your word total shows that ‘perseverance furthers!’ Thank you also for dropping that nugget on how you prepare to write (GMC), as well as mapping out a working schedule. These ‘tools’ are invaluable in keeping the words coming. Tenacity. Commitment. You got this!

  2. The ideal that one has a “novel” by the end of NaNoWriMo is… well, novel but not realistic. Even the skinny dime-store paperbacks of the past century tended to be between 60-80K, and by modern standards, those books tend to be short and poorly developed. There is a demand out there for shorter pieces, novellas and such, but again… not so much a “novel”.

    Still as you say 50K is a nice stepping-off point. Enough words to have a well-developed idea or a richly designed novella that can be trimmed. A great start… and it sounds like you’ve made yours!

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