NaNoWriMo is half-way over. How the month is flying by! Hopefully, if you’re participating this year, you’re still excited about your subject matter, your words continue to flow at an astonishing rate, and you’re cruising steadily along toward your goal of having a completed first draft by the end of the month. If that’s the case, congratulations! You can stop reading this article right now, and go dash off another 3,000 words. If, however, (as is the case with the vast majority of each year’s participants) your enthusiasm has started to wane and/or your fingers are no longer flying across the keyboard quite like they were on Nov. 2, consider implementing one of these three tips to get back on track:
Tip #1. Turn off the Internet.
It’s been said time and time before and in a million different ways, but the oft repeated is often true. There’s no bigger time-suck than unfettered access to the Internet. If, try as you might, you just can’t stop yourself from checking for status updates on Facebook or browsing Pinterest or Reddit, consider using one of the many Internet-blocking tools out there. (Click here for some choices.) You could also turn off your wifi, disconnect your modem, or write on a machine that doesn’t have online access.
Tip #2. Stop editing.
Revising and editing are crucial, but not while you’re writing a first draft. In fact, bringing your inner critic into the mix too early is a sure-fire way to kill your creativity and relegate your book to the bottom drawer. To nix the misguided urge for perfection, resolve not to use the delete or backspace buttons for an entire writing session. It may feel strange and difficult at first, but after 20 minutes or so, you’ll likely be amazed at how fast the words fill the page.
Tip #3. Stop when you know where you’re going.
Ernest Hemingway once said the most valuable piece of advice he had for writers was to “always stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next.” Though it can feel almost painful to leave off in the middle of a scene or right before a plot climax, it really does build your enthusiasm and feed your writing. If you can do it, you’ll be amazed at how quickly and effortlessly you get down to work the next day.