How to Survive NaNoWriMo – Week 2

by Lexi Cooper, Editor

The second week of NaNoWriMo is upon us! Congratulations for making it this far. Hopefully you have got some words down. If you haven’t met all your goals thus far, that’s okay. Any progress is good enough progress. That’s what this month is all about: having more words in your WIP than you did when the month started. If you haven’t read our blog about making the most of week 1 make sure to do so now.

Many people think of this week as the dreaded Week 2 (insert horror music). The motivation from the beginning of the month has ebbed, and it’s getting harder to write. You’ve likely entered the middle of your novel, and you may be thinking, “Can we just skip to the end now?”

Alas, we cannot. However, there are somethings we can do this week to make this process a little better and show you how to survive NaNoWriMo.

Reward Yourself

Reward yourself for your progress with NaNoWriMo
Self Reward

One thing I have learned about myself (and I believe this applies to most people) is that I respond well to rewards.

Many times when I have to do something that’s hard or that I don’t want to do, I will say to myself, “After you do this, you can do X,” with X being something like eating a cookie or watching an episode of my favorite show.

Rewards can help boost motivation, which can make tasks more enjoyable. Check out Writing and Wellness suggestions for rewards.

So, if you write 200 words, treat yourself with something you enjoy. It may just get you through the next 200 words.

Take Time to Refocus

Why are you writing a book for NaNoWriMo?
Refocus your goals

At this point in the month, it may be helpful to refocus. When you’re in the nitty gritty grind of writing a book, it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing this.

Take ten minutes to think about your goals. You can meditate on them and journal about them. Writing out the reasons why you want to write a book will help you recenter and can bring back some of the motivation you felt early in the process.

Then any time the writing gets tough, you can look back at these reasons and use them to propel you forward.

Make Your Writing Exciting

Add something exciting to your NaNoWriMo

Perhaps at this point in the process you’ve gotten bored with your writing. Maybe in following your outline, you feel that there’s no excitement in the story. Or maybe your setting feels lackluster, or your characters feel static.

This is a great time to throw in something that thrills you. It can be something as simple as having the characters travel to a new setting with a cool waterfall. Or it can be something as daring as a bear (or a more fantastical creature like a griffin) attacking the main character.

It’s okay if it doesn’t quite make sense in the plot right now, so long as it gets you excited to write again. You can always cut it or rework it in the next draft. Just one secret on how to survive NaNoWriMo.

Skip the Extra Hard Parts

Don't get stuck on a scene for your NaNoWriMo
Writing Hack

If you come to a section of you story this week that you just don’t know how to write, it is okay to skip it. If you know your characters have to get to the castle, but you have no idea how they get there, that is okay.

In this first draft, you don’t have to have everything figured out. If there’s a plot point or even something as simple as a character description that stumping you, just skip it for not and come back to it later.

When I first started writing, I used this trick all the time. I used to be terrible with descriptions, and I used to hate writing them. But this trick helped me finish my first full length novel.

It’s as simple as saying, “[insert character description here]” or, “[insert transition from point A to point B]”. Make sure you use something like brackets [] or a different text color so you remember to go back and flesh out whatever it is in revisions.

But then move on to the next section. Do whatever you can to keep writing. Don’t let yourself get stuck. Here are 12 techniques to help you get “unstuck”.

Good luck this week, writers! You can do it! Use these tips and tricks to help you, and don’t forget that any progress on your novel this month is a win! You can survive NaNoWriMo.

How to Survive NaNoWriMo