NaNoWriMo is a great tool, but for some of us, the stress it induces keeps us from starting our writing. I am a great planner. Lists. Outlines. Calendars. Schedules. Research. But taking action . . . SQUIRREL!
Don't let the NaNoGuilt get you down. Just like anything that is hard, but worthwhile, starting is the hardest part. Whether it is dieting, exercise, or writing (the holy trinity of things we all say we are going to do), starting is the hardest part.
So how do you start? The easy answer is just do it.
But seriously, it is that simple. Eliminate the excuses. You have the desire. You have the will. Now, lets find the way together. These are the things that work with me:
- Write the fun scene that made you want to write the book. Of course you want to have a well plotted story, but if figuring out where to start is stopping you, don't worry. You have at least one scene dancing in your head, so write that one. Once you start typing, the inertia will take over.
- Write, don't type. For some reason, a pen and paper make it easier for me to start. I move into typing, but if I start in freehand, there is less pressure. Less pressure makes it easier to start. Give it a try. What is the worst thing that happens? Hand cramp? Wimp.
- Give yourself realistic goals. NaNoWriMo can be discouraging when you have a daily word count you feel you can never fill. That pressure will still your fingers. Start with a goal of 500 words. You can do that. That's nothing. Once you get those done, you will find it is easier to keep typing.
- Leave yourself a prompt once you start. Each day will present new challenges. And just like time away from your gym (or cheating on your diet), the longer you go without writing, the harder it will be to get back into it. Make sitting down a little easier for yourself by leaving yourself a note on where to pick up. You'll thank yourself for it later.