Without it, you're more likely to fall flat faster than the guy who plunged to earth from outer space.
Lesson #10 -- Be Flexible
How should writers be flexible during NaNoWriMo? Let me count the ways...
1 -- If you miss your scheduled writing time, try to squeeze a little in, even if it's only a paragraph, before the day ends.
2 -- If your story starts feeling like it would be best used to toilet paper, try going off plan and thinking up a new scene, villain...whatever will make the story fresh enough to keep you writing.
3 -- If the computer demons eat your work, dust off your printed outline (remember that from lesson #8?), figure out where you left off and start writing from that point. Gift yourself with a guesstimate of how many words you'd previously written if you can't recall. You might not be able to post 50k words to NaNoWriMo's website and get a badge, but you'll know that you won...and that you can do it again.
4 -- If you've been writing every day and you can't fathom writing another word, not one, go to the movies. Spend time in a park. Visit a zoo and feed the animals. Go for a walk. Try an Insanity workout. Bake a batch of cookies. Do anything that frees your spirit and breathes life back into your soul. Then, when you're feeling good again, resume writing.
5 -- If life intrudes in ways that only life can--like Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc on power lines, Internet access, dry floors, etc.--set the writing aside, if only for short periods at a time, and attend to the things of life that urgently call upon you.
See, writing 50,000 words in November is a goal, not an obligation. It's a gift that you give to yourself, not a punishment. How well do you like the writer in you and wish to see that writer's dreams flourish? Let that motivate you to write, but don't let it imprison you and force you to do things you don't want to do.
If you need a break--I mean really, really need a break--take one.
Feel free to spend Thanksgiving day (or weekend) with your family and not write a single word. Revel in Black Friday shopping. Take Sundays off. Join your friends for your usual weekly get-together.
Yes, I know lesson #8 was all about staying focused, but a laser-like focus could result in sudden death. To your psyche and to your writing. So, you don't want to take off more than a day or two, so as not to lose momentum, but when you need a break, take one. There are no bars on this cell.
Writing is a journey and NaNoWriMo is but a portion of the path. Make up your mind to start and complete your goal, but try not to kill yourself in the process. You'll enjoy the writing so much more.
What do you do to re-energize yourself when you've been heads down writing?
Peace & Blessings,
Stay focused. Be deliberate. Believe.