It’s the beginning of November! And for many writers that means that excitement and pure, nauseating panic is in the air. It’s NaNoWriMo. For those inhabiting the undersides of rocks, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Those participating set a goal to write 50k words from November 1st to the 30th. That’s a lot of words. 1,667 words per day to be exact.
This is my second year participating and I’m a big enough person to admit I failed last year. However, I’m not a big enough person to spare you my excuses! I had just started really trying to write a book. I hadn’t found my rhythm or anything else for that matter. I didn’t know the first thing about outlining or how a story should be written. As an avid reader, I went in NaNo thinking I had it in the bag. Turns out I didn’t even have a bag.
So like I was saying! 50k words is a lot! And writing every single day for 30 days is so hard. How does one stick to such an intense writing regiment?! What is the secret key to writing motivation?! Let me tell you…
The key is…motivation is a LIE. You heard me. Motivation is a fickle and ever-alluding mystical thing that everyone seeks, but rarely finds. The key is DISCIPLINE.
If you wait for motivation to strike you’ll never finish. Motivation is fantastic when it shows up, but you can’t count on motivation. Motivation is the fun girl you always invite to your parties that you have a blast hanging out with, but she’s always busy doing other things and never remembers to show up.
Motivation is cool to hangout with when she shows her face, but Discipline is the best friend you can always count on to show up no matter how lame your party is.
Sit down. And write. Every day. Whether you feel like it or not. Because the other thing about Motivation, she’s kind of weirdly jealous. Once she sees you’re still throwing the party without her she’ll show up late to hangout with you and Discipline.
Showing up is half the battle. If you discipline yourself enough to get in front of your preferred writing medium and start writing. 9 times out of 10 your motivation will follow shortly. You’ll start to get into your story and the words will start to flow.
Remind yourself of why you started. Remind yourself that your dream will not manifest all on it’s own. It needs you to show up. Now go write all the words! And good luck to all my fellow writers!