Friday, November 5, 2010

The Long Slog: Sticking With It Can Be Hard

I'm on my fifth day of NaNoWriMo and I'm already finding it hard to keep up with my word count. Like many projects, I went into it with enthusiasm and hope, certain this time would be easier. Then reality slips in when my back was turned and I see how much work I will have to put into my project, day in and day out, to succeed. That's when the real work begins.

It can be hard to do a project when things seem overwhelming. Despite being unemployed, I have enough volunteer work commitments that I already write a great deal every day. Then there is my internet addiction. Between the two I spend 16 hours at the computer already. Now add the novel I've been wanting to write for several years but somehow never got very far. NaNoWriMo is supposed to help me stay motivated, and so far I'm not that far off track (mostly because I worked ahead the first two days when I was still in that first flush of excitement).

I just worry that this will become like so much else--one of those things which I leave half finished or delayed because I became overwhelmed. Writing isn't that hard; it's writing every day and sticking to it that is hard.

Like so many projects, just DOING it is half the battle.

Here's what I propose to get past the problem:
1. I will work ahead in my count whenever I get the motivation so that on tough days when I don't get as much writing done, I won't be as far behind and get discouraged.
2. I will write everyday, at least somewhat, no matter what.
3. I will set up reminders to myself.
4. I will read inspirational pieces, but not spend too much time on reading when I should be writing.
5. I will remind myself about my goals and what I will gain from finishing this first draft of my novel.

I hope this will help. When projects pass that first flush of motivation and start showing the difficulty or complexity of the project, it can be hard to stick to it. I just need to remind myself that I am in it for the long haul. After all, this is my life and something I wanted to do. I should stick with it.

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