Whether you’re just coming off a NaNoWriMo high or you’re losing steam on your non-NaNo WIP, keeping your momentum going is key to finishing your novel. I’m not just talking inspiration. Inspiration is easy to kick back into gear if you know where to look and what your personal sources are, whether that’s taking a walk, using Pinterest, talking with other writers—whatever it is. The problem a lot of people face is simply keeping momentum, keeping pace.
When you start a new project and your inspiration is helping you write loads of words and chapters a day, the going is easy. But as your reach your mid-point or the three-quarter mark of your novel, the pace starts losing its power. You write less each day, then you write less often each week. It’s easy for other things to take precedence or for other things to appear more important. That’s not to say that writing is the most important thing ever, because it’s not. We all have kids or loved ones or pets or laundry or homework or whatever—and those things are definitely more important than putting words to a page. Unless you’re a full-time writer. In which case, get back to writing your next book!
The point of all of this is: KEEP YOUR PACE. Maybe you don’t have the time or engagement necessary to write 1,667 words a day after NaNoWriMo, or to write a chapter a day for your WIP, and that’s fine. Here are some tips for setting and keeping a new pace:
- Set a daily goal and stick to it. Write 1,000 words a day, every day, until that draft is done. Then step back, or start a new project before revising.
- Write at the same time every day. Make it a part of your routine. Writing every day is the key to keeping pace, as people who do NaNoWriMo find out. The words you write in November may not be the best ever, but at least they’re out on paper instead of inside your head.
- If you lose inspiration or writer’s block strikes, act fast or free write. Do whatever it is that kicks writer’s block for you. For me, that’s Pinterest and talking with my CPs who are always full of amazing ideas. Do what works for you!
- Do not make excuses. If it’s something you want, you will make time for it. And I know it’s something you want. Why else would you be here if it wasn’t? Why would you have bothered starting writing that novel if you didn’t want to? Make the time and make no excuses about using it.
- Don’t get caught up in social media. Especially after NaNoWriMo and even more so now with the start of #PitchWars, #BakersDozen, and #PitchMAS, it is easy to get swept up in social media fever. There are Twitter feeds to stalk, contests to enter, loads of blog hops and tours to follow. Schedule a time for doing that, too, but do not overlap that time with writing. We all know that writing and social media do not go hand-in-hand if done at the same time!
Do you have any tips for keeping pace? Let me know in the comments below!