Congratulations if you’ve made it this far.
If you’re still writing, give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve already made it halfway. This is no small feat and you should be proud of yourself!It’s about this point in the month when things get tricky. The initial enthusiasm for your project has probably worn off, and coming up with new words is increasingly difficult. Plus, for Americans, we have Thanksgiving to tango with. Let us know how things are going. Let us know if you’re stuck or struggling to keep writing. If you’re stuck in the “Muddy Middle” of the story, you’re not alone! And if you’re still sailing along, maybe you can share some encouragement for your fellow authors who have fallen into writer quicksand. Did you have a major breakthrough or have a character do something entirely unexpected?And definitely share your word count so we can cheer you on!
Thanksgiving is definitely the make or break point of NaNo for me. If you're behind, it's harder to catch up. And if you're ahead, it's easy to fall behind. And it's harder to write when you're sleepy with a full stomach.
I'm a bit behind on this year's NaNo project which is a new fantasy story. Part of the problem is I'm just not in love with the story the way I was in love with The Dreamwalker (which I won NaNo with in 2019 and is now complete at 114,000 words and currently in querying stage). Another problem is I've become more excited about posting episodes of Adventure Story here on Substack than I am about writing anything else. Adventure Story is fantasy but it's comedy - and I think I've been missing some "lightness" after spending almost 4 years with The Dreamwalker which I would classify as "dark fantasy."
What I would say at this stage to new writers or those trying to meet the 50,000 word goal for the first time is this:
-It doesn't have to be good, it just has to exist. You can mold it into something better later. Right now, it's word-vomit time.
-If you are really struggling for motivation/energy, think in terms of sacrificing hours for your future self. Your future self will feel so accomplished to be sitting on a full (albeit rough) draft of your story come December 1. Then you can put it away and sail into the holidays and feel like you really accomplished something. Give yourself that gift - it starts with an hour of suffering today.
Those are two mind tricks that worked for me in 2019 and now I have a completed manuscript that I feel confident will make it onto the shelves. Have had a few agents ask for the first 50 pages already. And it started as an absolute chaotic word-dump disaster on a cold November four years ago.
You got this!
So my private little NaNo has rolled into the wretched “muddy middle”. Last week was great, but the story took an unexpected turn and now I’m stuck. I need an alpha reader or a beta reader, or a cup of tea, or a hug, I don’t know what I need...😭 it’s currently 37k, but I didn’t start from scratch in November. My goal is 60k by the end of the month...
I'm at just over 40k. I have twekaed my story line a few times so I know that I'll have to go back with a cleanup crew to reconcile some of the threads. My novel has a mystery. And it was a mystery to me as well until recently. I just kept writing 'whaf if' threads until I felt comfortable with one.
It could be going better, but of course we had to go visit the in-laws for a week. Thus, I will not make it to the end this year. That said, I have a great novel outline for the first time, and I really like how my story is going. No complaints. This story is book four of my mystery novel series that I've yet to publish, but writing this far ahead has really helped me figure out my overarching plan and understand my character. I love the NaNo model as a period of intense focus, even if I don't make to 50k this year.
I'm staying on track with the daily word count for NaNoWriMo, hitting 32k yesterday. I got very stuck on one plot point last week, but decided to write past it and let it figure itself out later, so that I could keep my forward momentum. I still have plenty of outlined scenes to get me to 50k, but I plan for this novel to be 100k when finished. So my only worry is that I'll lose momentum and motivation after I reach the midpoint at 50k, and after the communal cheerleading aspect of NaNo is over!
congrats to all who have stayed the course this long. I left a week or so ago, just too much interfering from life's other commitments. As I say every year: maybe next year.
I gave up tracking last week. I am still writing here and there but life has given me a few left turns. It’s all ok. And turns out the section I have been working on doesn’t fit at all, and I have to scrap it. It needs to be its own thing. Oh well. Not a lost cause but it belongs somewhere else.
Yep! I have no timeline to finish this project. Slow and steady. Getting a new lovely laptop this weekend so there’s plenty of motivation!
Literally cannot wait to get my MacBook Air. My current beast is a MacBook Pro from 2015!
Um...hi. My name is Alexx. I have a problem this year. The hyperfixation is strong with this one. I hit 51K last night and I’m still on Rabid Rabbit mode. (Fire. Fire! FIRE! I need TP for my bunghole!!!!bonus points if you know that reference.) I keep having to bribe myself. “If you eat all your vegetables and finish all your homework and chores, you’re allowed to go puke more words.” This is usually a winter or spring phenomenon, so it’s been nice to have an easy NaNo for once. 🥰
If you’re stuck, I’ve left some bread crumbs above for ways I try to get unstuck. Same with if Life Happening has gotten in the way. And there are lots of other juicy tidbits by the Crew for what is often the hardest NaNo week of all. Since I’m just on gravy mode now, feel free to ping me if you need pompoms or a hand out of the mud. Go! Go! Go!
I was so enthusiastic at the start of November. Then life sidetracked me (not American so not Thanksgiving). Rather a new part time job and trying to get my new fledgling creative business to off the ground ...
I'm still writing but will never hit 50k unless a miracle happens! But it'll be interesting to see where I am at the end of the month. I was looking forward to my 3rd NaNo win 🙄