3 Emotional Resources to Finishing a Large Project Like NaNoWriMo

For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, you can read about it here. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place every year, in November. And just like clockwork, every year come November, thousands of people take part in it and write a 50,000 word novel in one month. The best thing about it is that people don’t/can’t/won’t drop their normal everyday lives, jobs, or kids to complete this challenge. They just make time to write their novel every day for thirty days.

Sounds crazy? Maybe it is.

This year, after gaining a writing buddy, I decided to take part and let the fun begin! After momentarily freaking out about an hour ago when NanoWriMo started (12am on November 1st), I wondered to myself what would make this commitment hold strong? How could I possibly finish this?

Well, here’s a quick procrastinatory article before I actually start on my novel. 😉

#1. Motivation

You’ve got to be insanely motivated. You’ve got to want to finish this project, and you’ve got to want it bad.

Simple, but true.

#2. Discipline

Have you heard of that research study about children and marshmallows that predicted whether or not they would do well on the SATs when they grew older? The study goes like this: elementary-aged children were put in a testing room and told by a researcher not to eat a marshmallow until the researcher came back, after which they would get two marshmallows instead. Basically, if a child was able to wait a long time before eating the marshmallow, their SAT scores would be higher than that of those who were unable to wait.

I think this has to do, in part, with discipline and the strength of your mind. I know that sometimes I have a hard time resisting the urge to eat my food if it’s already sitting in front of me, but it depends on the situational factors whether I’ll go ahead and eat it right away or not. If situational factors outweigh my desire to eat the food, I will not eat my meal. A situational factor might be that I consider it rude to eat my meal before other peoples’ meals have arrived if we are sitting in a restaurant.

You’ve got to create the easiest possible environment for yourself and make it the most conducive to reaching your goal. I’ve got a dedicated space to write for my novel, and my own laptop. I think that’s a good start. Now I just need to carve out a time that works for me. The goal is about 1600 words per day for me to be able to complete my novel on time.

#3. Support

I’m glad I’ve got my sister to complain to and chat with if things start getting fuzzy in my journey to write a novel in a month. I know she’s great support and I can count on her for soothing my fears and worries away.

There’s also the forums of NaNoWriMo which might prove useful or a hindrance, depending on how often I lurk around there.

Finding a support group is immensely helpful when it comes to big projects that suck up lots of your time and energy. I think this one will be worth it (again referring back to my motivation for this project). Maybe you’ll decide to join me. If not, hopefully you’ve gleaned something useful from the 3-part series of steps I’m taking to write something as big as this novel.

Wish me luck, I’m off to write my first day’s worth of words!


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