So you’ve taken the leap into the giant wok of Nanowrimo and now find yourself floundering in the slippery oil of written – and unwritten- words. All around you, people are announcing they have crossed the mark, causing the pressure to mount as though you are the last wicket of Team India on the crease, required to score a winning six. A difficult but not impossible task. So keep calm. Not the count-to-ten type of keep calm. Rather, take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves and get typing. Yes, buddy, this is no time to be complacent!
Before we discuss the strategies which might help us go on, let’s examine why we lose our cool in this war of words J
Causes of panic
Help! I didn’t save my file The very top-of-the-list problem. And the most dangerous. It’s one of the things easy to know in theory and far easier to forget in practice. Nowadays you have a number of ways to backup. Dropbox. Pen drives. Hard disk storage. Even easier to do, just email the work to yourself. Back up, back up, back up…should be your hourly or rather every minute mantra!
My Muse has absconded! Muses are so apt to do that. Just when you need them the most. Though you might wish to, you can’t catch and bring back your Muse by scruff of his/her neck. The blank screen is the writer’s arch enemy but you have to find a way to beat it. One sure way is to read over what you’ve written and find that link, that off shoot that you forgot to explore. Now is the time to blend that loose thread in your story and make it stronger. Maybe your character left an old job to take up the current position. So why did she leave it? Get to the reason and it might show you a side of your character you never thought existed. Now you can write with a deeper understanding of your character.
For more ways to beat the writer’s block, check out this post from me.
Inner editor has woken up! The Inner Editor. Visualize Skeletor. Doctor Doom. Mahishasura. Inner editor is the enemy of the state for Nanowrimo-ers. There is only one weapon to tackle it. Only one word. IGNORE. Or prepare for your Nano winning dream to crash. This is not the time to worry about inserting the proper synonym or tempering your excessive adverb indulgence. Whether you write ‘walk quickly’ or ‘run’, just describe the action and get on with it. December is for fussing over things like that.
Now the positive steps to take to win this race. How to have that voice in your ear saying Bhaag Milkha Bhaag! 😉
Seek inspiration Fill up the well continuously. Read. Take a walk. People watch. Take and make use of writing prompts from fellow writers…easily hounded at the Wrimo group J
Writing sprints I’ve personally found they are the best way to hike up your count. Sprints are great to make you focus and streamline your thoughts. Join in as many as you can.
Take proper rest and exercise. The mind is fresh only when the body is. Writers are all too prone to posture related troubles from spending too many hours bent over the keyboard. So do make sure you take stretching exercises or simply walk around a bit every half an hour. Your mind will be healthier if your body is fitter. So rest your eyes and your back and you’ll be more revved up than ever.
All the very best to all the participants. Remember that you’ve already won because I’m sure you’re doing better than you would have without Nanowrimo (at least I tell myself that to keep from sliding into deep depression of non achievement ;)) Kudos to the ones who’ve made it and the rest, don’t worry. It’s not 30th November yet!
Keep well. Write with love.
Ruchi Vasudeva is a doctor by profession, a teacher by vocation and, in her own words, an author by destiny. The writing bug has long resided in her and a contest held by Harlequin for Indian authors gave her a golden opportunity to have her dream realized. She debuted in August ’13 with her book ‘Bollywood Fiancé For A Day’. Her second book is out in December, both being published by Harlequin. She also won a contest for getting a short story published with Harper Collins. She writes romantic fiction with conflicted characters who come into their own in their quest of reaching out for love. She loves to write about spirited heroines getting hurtled out of their daily life as soon as they cross paths with their rather challenging heroes.
She lives with her husband and two kids. When not bent double over the laptop, she might be found with her nose in books or at the movies or glued to the telecast of Team India or Chennai Super Kings in action. She likes to take long walks which help in brewing story ideas!