NaNoWriMo: Week Two

“Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel.”

—H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

IMG-6428Sooo…week two! This is always a hard week for everyone, I think. Things change in week two. I realize what a huge undertaking NaNoWriMo is. Doubt is beginning to crawl along the edges of my mind. I mean, NaNoWriMo have even called it the “week two blues.” So you’re not alone. Thankfully, I’ve remained beyond target this week with 40k—meaning I’ve written just as much this week as I did last week (almost)—but it hasn’t been easy. Some days I’ve sat down and words have just been so achingly difficult. I find this happens when I reach this point with most of the books I write, too: I arrive at a place in the story where things HAVE to move forward, but most of the time I’m not sure how to get there. I mentioned in the last post I LOVE middles…and while that’s still true, I’m in the thick of the book where the plot feels stagnated, my characters are refusing to cooperate (which is ironically fitting as my protagonist is SUPER stubborn…), and I realize that I probably should have prepped more. Thank god for coffee…

But. Just. Keep. Going.

This is exactly what NaNoWriMo is about—writing when it gets tough, writing when you’re not sure you can write. Breathe in. Breathe out. You’ve got this. It’s about writing down the words now, and editing later, and getting down the core of the story—why you’re writing this particular book in the first place. So…breathe. Take a break. Bake some muffins. Go for a walk. Find a way to fall in love with your story, so much so that it banishes fears of failure. Let yourself daydream, let your mind wander. Sometimes the BEST writing happens when you’re not actually writing at all. Tell yourself it’s okay if you don’t win, because with writing, progress is all that matters. Crank up that inspirational music (a la Two Steps from Hell), shut out the world for a bit…and write.

… At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself all week.

And slowly, it’s been getting better. Scenes are beginning to pour out of me; I’m less frustrated; I have a clearer vision of what direction the book is taking. I’ve reached the part in my NaNo project where, as the toughness begins to pass and I become more familair with my characters, I can see the end in sight (or, at the very least, the end of NaNoWriMo). I now know where the story is headed, and I have a firm, but not set in stone, concept of how the characters will get there. And of course, I’m incredibly excited for the climatic scenes and big, explosive moments I’ve been dyinnggggg to write since I began the project.

Continuing in the same vein as the last couple of weeks, here’s a track that’s literally been getting me through week two of NaNoWriMo in one piece, by none other than the hands-down incredible Howard Shore. (The entire score for these three movies are just breathtaking. And this one…oh my gosh, CHILLS. This song literally inspired an entire scene/plot movement for this book.)

I’ve literally been listening to “The Grace of Undómiel” on repeat during certain scenes. It’s somehow hopeful & ethereal, as well as beautifully…sad. (And yes, it’s making me want to rewatch the entire series… Maybe after NaNo…)

Despite the fact that I’m 10k away from completely NaNoWriMo, I still have a TON of this novel left to complete that I’ll hopefully write over the rest of November/December, so for now, I intend to keep doing weekly updates of my NaNo progress! (…and let’s hope I can work out the kinks in this plot before moving on.)

And one last time for all the NaNoWriMo people out there who feel the same as I’ve been this week…

You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead.

—George Lucas

Week two of NaNoWriMo is coming to an end. How are you going? What’s gotten you through this week of NaNo?

Currently reading: …again, nothing! But hopefully I’ll pick up a book once I’ve completed the 50k & will probably end up slowing down my pace.

Currently listening to: “Reputation” by Taylor Swift… Yes, I LOVE her new album.

4 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo: Week Two

  1. Leonora @ Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts says:

    The Lord of the Rings soundtrack is PERFECT for writing to. It’s just so atmospheric and… gah! So good! This is my first time doing NaNoWriMo and I’m dyiiiinnng. But there is still hope! I hope you get your stuff done.


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