Nano Seventeen – “Me” Time

559684_524267037615966_1561988245_nEvery now and then, a creative person needs a day of reflection. The month of November is no exception. When the days run long with menial tasks and chores begging for forgiveness, and the keyboard is calling for attention, remember to take a day to remember why you do this in the first place.

Let your mind wander, maybe it will help with a stuck scene, or figure out why a sub-plot isn’t working out the way you intended.

Even during nanowrimo, when your fingers blister with the pain of constant keystroke agony, take a day and read a book. Maybe something out of your comfort zone. I’m not saying War and Peace by Tolstoy, but grabbing a book you haven’t read in years and remembering why you loved the words on the page in the past is a good reminder of why you are putting up with this.

I’ve seen too many people burned out around this time. The story isn’t going as they want, or a scene sticks and they decide to give up, but whatever the case is, promise yourself to come back and write from a different point of view and keep going.

You don’t have to finish the book by December 1st, no one is saying that. And by “winning” nano, no one really cares. You will have a small graphic to display. That’s about it. Similar to beating a video game, it is all about bragging rights and the story you gained along the way.

Most authors never finish a full story in a month – ever. Lord of the Rings took 15 YEARS. Not 30 days. There are success stories, however, they fail to mention the months of edits and re-writes to before the first draft polished into the shiny turd became publishable.

Write. Don’t kill yourself over it. Sleep and eat and for Dog’s sake, feed your kids. Writing should have a priority in your statute in the daily grind, however it shouldn’t replace the common day-to-day activities to keep life moving forward.

And if you stopped writing for whatever reason, there’s still time to keep going. The story is better told with conflict along the way – no one wants to read a story where everything was fine for no reason.

-Chris

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