Well, I thought I was doing very well in all three until I actually thought to stop and check my progress last Saturday, November 08. What did I find?
Let me begin with what I didn’t find.
Instead of the eight post I was expecting, there were only 5!
You see, I started NaBloPoMo trying to follow the North America time zone – don’t ask me which one – because I thought that it would be great to actually write or post along with the time zone where NaBloPoMo is based.
I wrote. I posted. Then I must have got mixed up somewhere during the week – not helped by a hectic work load, life in general getting in the way, my nephews helpfully hindering – I think because my blog time zone was set to my local time but I was thinking in NaBloPoMo home time, I ended up with three less posts and I even posted twice in one day. Mixed up yet? Now, you know how I feel. Panic.
What didn’t I find? How about a story? How about an idea of – even a glimmer of-a tinkling of-a gossamer thread – of a story? Panic.
How was I supposed to know that you’re supposed to already have a story idea before you even start NaNoWriMo? This was my first time.
I see that all my November posts are tagged with blogging 101. I cannot recall how they got there. Panic.
I racked my brain all day Saturday trying to come up with an idea of how to put things right; how to get up the right number of blog posts; how to get to my target word count on my novel. More panicking.
But somehow, all that negativity helped reinforced in me the steps I needed to take and follow so I can hold on and continue, to not give up.
Here’s what worked for me:
- Take a deep, deep breathe.
Closing your eyes and really breathing in from your diaphragm and letting the air really fill out your lungs so that your stomach sticks out; let it all out through your mouth with a big whoosh. That’s the kind of breathing that clears your mind and calms you right down. It worked for me.
- Start (or continue) from where you are.
Simply start. Write a word, then a few words, then a sentence, then a paragraph. That’s how I managed to rack up more than 1500 words on my novel. Sure, it’s still below the daily minimum requirement and the world-weary hard-boiled detective I started out with has morphed into a gentle and caring amateur sleuth, but it is my novel. 1500+ words more than I had when I started, and best of all, I am actually writing my novel. Something I couldn’t say of myself a few short weeks ago.
- Remember who and why. Who you are doing this for and why – remembering that I was doing this for me because I wanted to improve my understanding and use of the English language, helped to really get my head back into the right space and carry on writing and blogging.
I hope they work for you as they did for me.