Scaredy Cat has been working overtime lately:
YOU want to write a novel in 30 days?
Good luck with that!
In 2020, more than a half-million authors from around the globe accepted the annual National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) .30-day November challenge to hit 50K words for their novel. Since I’m a thoughtful writer who avoids self-imposed stress, I was never tempted to join NaNoWriMo when penning my short children’s books.
Until this year. Gulp.
I’m pushing Scaredy Cat aside and joining NaNoWriMo. It's all Cheerleader Cat's fault. She convinced me to do NaNoWriMo this year ...
You love a challenge!
AND you need other people around to keep going.
PLUS, only 20% hit 50K words,
so no worries if you don’t hit that number.
Plus, Cheerleader Cat assures me these eight simple strategies for tackling tough tasks will have me gaining on my 80K-word rom com in no time. Call me Crazy Cat, but I'm jumping in!
1. Set Reasonable-for-You Goals
TBH, I’ll proudly be among the 80% who won’t reach 50K words in 30 days.
I’m taking off Thanksgiving week and will not work 12-hour days or weekends like most NaNoWriMo 50K-ers. Instead I’m aiming for a reasonable 15K words. I can do that without headaches or panic attacks [crossing fingers here].
Photo: "240/365 National Novel Writing Month begins" by the girl who owns the world is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
2. Spiff Up My Creation Station
I can write in the hubbub of a coffee shop, but cannot concentrate if my office is a mess. Gotta clear distractions, yet cozy my creation station with a few tchotchkes to keep the mood fun and light.
My secret sauce?
...having the last book Mama read before going into hospice tucked under my keyboard.
My mother's collection of romance novels filled every corner of her home. It was sheer luck I found her final book resting where she laid it on her nightstand before she left us. (Can you guess her book's title that's partly hidden below?)
Mama was the one who always encouraged me to write, so it's especially comforting to have her presence nearby as I push myself.
Cat's Creation Station
3. Queue Up a Playlist
Streaming orchestral movie music on YouTube while writing is my thing. Any selections scored by the likes of John Williams, James Horner or Michael Giacchino keep me chill and creative for hours.
4. Prevent Middle Mire with an Outline
I already outlined my 30 chapters – just a few sentences summarizing each – and created an Excel worksheet to track word count. Of course, once I get into my tale, my characters tell me where they want to go, but that rough outline keeps us from getting mired in the middle.
Yep. Crafting a delicious mid-section is my biggest challenge, but I have a few ideas about those scenes taking up 50% of my beachy rom com:
If you care to share your ideas
for clean and delicious beachy rom-com middle scenes,
I’d be over the moon to hear them.
Just drop them into the comments below
shoot me a private email, and I’ll consider all.
Hey, you might even be named a contributor
in my acknowledgements
if I use your ideas -:D>!
5. Stick to a Daily Writing Routine
A structured day helps me hit my word count goals:
6. Get Moving
I cannot sit still.
After hours of writing and thinking hard, I need my yoga, walks, workouts or Pilates. Love walking outdoors in the woods best, but in-person or virtual workouts cut it, too.
This ambivert needs people, so I'll...
8. Smile and Laugh Every Chance
Our neighborhood’s unofficial Children’s Hour begins around 4:30 as young‘uns fresh off the school bus converge in a mad dash to play together.
Theirs is a joyful release of unbridled pleasure and pent-up energy across yards, bikes, swing sets, basketball hoops and trampolines dotting our street.
Listening to children’s laughter is THE best way to end anybody's workday, don't you think?
What would you add to Cheerleader Cat's eight ways to tackle tough tasks? Have some helped you with past challenges? Any an absolute bust? Please share in the comment section.
And before you go …
Please drop your rom-com middle ideas
in the comment section
shoot me an email.
Cheerleader Cat and I can't wait to see what YOU come up with!
Photos by Cat Michaels except where noted
National Novel Writing Month Logo: NaNoWriMo.org
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