My desire to stay up until dawn to write collapsed with the birth of my first child. It took with it my ability to read a great book in one weekend, or the opportunity to pee without interruption – but that is a rant for another day.
The excitement of the NaNoWriMo kickoff got lost in the translation. I had to wonder who in the group had children that would drag them out of bed at daybreak no matter what time they managed to get in bed. On top of the concern of my flesh and blood alarm going off at dawn, my rational mind understood that staying up meant having to go ALL DAY without so much as a nap (unless the kiddos were kind enough to nap when I was ready for the same). It was not an option.
My family came in from trick or treating and doing the fall festival thing and I settled them all in bed for the night. This was my time to visit with my other writing friends in our evening chat group. The room was filled, many of the people I had never seen in there before. They were all talking about staying up just to start writing at midnight.
“These people are crazy.” I knew the words included me. I have yet to meet a writer that lives with a right mind. Maybe it is because we get the spelling wrong. I sat in that chat room and watched the count down for the next group to begin. The excitement was contagious. I ended up staying up until the last group in the room that night kicked off NaNoWriMo.
The excitement was contagious (yes, I realize I already used that phrase. I am making a point). When the people around me have inspiration and motivation to get something done then some of that inspiration and motivation rubs off on me. That is what happened that first night of NaNoWriMo. Now the key will be for me to capture that momentum and keep it moving forward, not just through November, but as I continue to grow and expand my writing career.
Top Secrets for Keeping Momentum
Repeat what started the process. Our chat group continues to get together each night, just as we did before. I will recommend that we all time our writing for a portion of the night and see how many words we can build up for our daily count. The encouragement I get from that group of amazing men and women (even if it comes with a large dose of sarcasm) helps me to keep doing those things that I know need to be done.
Stop looking back. Bury yesterday or it will hold on to you and it can drag you down until it saps you of all your hope, inspiration and energy. I am opening a fresh document each day – clean page and new start with the word count. The story will come together during the editing process. For me, this keeps me focused on today and what I can accomplish and not on what I should have done with the time that is past.
Put something down on paper. Make notes about the characters. Write out questions that you are forming in your own mind about the motives or opportunities that need to be answered. Do a history of one of the characters even if that history will not come into play in your novel. Learning more about the how, when and why coming together for your story can be the key to getting the words flowing.
Remember that writing for the NaNoWriMo begins the process. It teaches you to write daily even when the story does not want to show up. Building up a habit of writing starts with encouragement and inspiration and then just determining to write will help keep the momentum going for NaNoWriMo.