WRITER’S BLOCK

You know the symptoms. The blank page, the condescendingly flashing cursor bar thing, the itch to open a new tab in Chrome and just check Facebook or something “really quick”. You have… dun dun DUUUNNNNN writer’s block.

As your intrepid ML kitkatt, I know the struggles. Don’t let my word count so far fool you, I have faced (and sometimes beaten) the monster of writer’s block. It is super easy to fall into the trap of writer’s block at any time but a lot of people are even more prone to it during NaNo season.

So, why am I here, writing a terrible blog post for you? Well, here are five of my tips and tricks to beating writer’s block (at least for a little while).

  • Move on – Okay so this one sounds a little condescending but hear me out. If you’re stuck on a scene, it is 10000% okay to just move out. Get out basic details and then move on to another scene you’re super excited to write.

  • Try to get inside your characters’ heads – I’m one of those writers that can have almost full conversations with their characters (they drive me insane). So this one especially helps me. Let them guide you if you’re not sure how they would react in the circumstances you’ve put them in to. If they derail the story, let them. You can fix it later (after November) if you hate.

  • Talk to someone – seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I have babbled to my husband about my story and then get a brilliant idea about what to do next. Don’t have a SO you can harass? Use the forums or the FB group to talk to people! Talk to writer friends!

  • Prompts – “But wait, kitkatt,” you might be saying, “why prompts? Won’t they derail you even more?” And to be honest? Yes. They probably will. (Or not, depending on the prompt) But you know what? It gets you to write more and can spark more ideas in your novel. If it doesn’t end up in the “real” draft of your novel later, who cares? Editing is for December, word count is for November.

  • This is a draft – One of the big things that helps me is knowing that this is a draft. This is the roughest rough draft to ever rough draft it. Whatever you don’t like later, you can purge with the fires of an inner editor scorned. But that doesn’t matter right now. What matters now is translating what you see, hear, experience in your head onto the paper so maybe one day, someone else can experience it too. There is a reason why the NaNo motto is “Don’t get it right, get it written.” We all struggle with this and I know it but somehow, it really makes it easier for me.

Okay, I think that’s enough babbling from me for now. But seriously, writer’s block is just you thinking you can’t do it. And you know what? I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that for a single second. If you are attempting NaNo, you are an awesome, amazing author and need to just keep going.

I hope my tips will help.


<3

WE ARE AT WAR

But, this is a good thing!

We’ve taken on a Regional Word War, and our opponent is HUNGARY.

If you have no idea what this is, here’s a quick rundown of what a Regional Word War is:

A Regional Word War is a challenge between two NaNoWriMo regions, in this case: Memphis and Hungary. Over the course of the month, the two regions post threads and challenges between themselves. They also agree upon how the final victory will be determined.

In the case of the Memphis v. Hungary war, the final victory will be decided by overall word count of the region. If you’re wondering how up-to date the regional word count bar is, I can go ahead and tell you that it’s only updated maybe once every 6 hours or so. The bar graphs on participant pages are updated every time someone updates their word count, so that’s where to check to see what the score currently is.

May your words be with you!

So, It Begins…

dun-dun-dun…..

NANOWRIMO has begun. (well, if this post goes up when it’s supposed to, NaNoWriMo began something like 10 hours ago.)

MLHGL pretty much expects to already have the daily word count goal accomplished by this point in time. However, MLHGL is also aiming a lot higher than the daily word count goal for NaNoWriMo this year, so she’s still got a ways to go.

Remember that MLkitkatt will be sending out the regular peptalks from the NaNoWriMo website itself, and to check your emails as well as log into the forums to hang out with fellow writers.

MLHGL also brings you a gift of three extremely useful links, for those of you that haven’t decided what to write or are having some trouble naming things:

Seventh Sanctum – randomly generate all the things! (No seriously, there’s basically a generator for everything here. It’s fantastic.)

Fantasy Name Generators – Not just for fantasy names! They have generators on here for just about anything you need to name. Vulcans? Check. Metals/elements? Check. Amusement parks? Those too!

The Sarcastic Muses – prompts for days! (No, really, they post tons of them)

Help! I can’t find a time/place to write

This is a thing that a lot of people have trouble with every year.

Finding either the time, or a good place, to write.

Both MLkitkatt and MLHGL have been blessed for sometime with having a job that allows them to have their laptops and write while they’re at work. Most stay at home parents already have a good idea of when their “downtime” is and adjust accordingly.

But what about students and people with full time jobs?
.     When MLHGL had a job that didn’t allow her the opportunity to write while she was at work, she would sit down for an hour or two immediately after work and write. Challenge yourself to X amount of words in a 15 min block. (MLHGL’s personal goal is 500 words/15 min. There are those who shoot for 1k30min, but MLHGL’s wrists do not like that idea.)

Writing in small blocks with “small” word count goals will help you break it down and get it done. In the 500 words/15 minute word sprint blocks, it only takes a little over 3 blocks of time to get the official daily word count goal. That’s only 45 min a day. (trust MLHGL, you will get better at typing, and you will get faster, and eventually, you will be able to train your brain into more than 500 words per 15 min.)

Or, just join in some word sprints. Twitter offers an official nano sprints account, and there are a couple of other accounts that do word sprints throughout the nano season. (They also stay active throughout the year.)

Word crawls are also very good word count boosters, and MLHGL is currently planning to write at least one for every Star Trek, and a few that are just general space themes. (feel free to ask her to message you with links)

One thing to remember though, is that thru NaNoWriMo, you can be selfish with the time you set aside to write in. Tell everyone that you’re doing NaNoWriMo, and that when you’re focused, (and maybe have headphones in), that you don’t want to be bothered. Not because you don’t love them (or want them to starve…) – but because you’ve challenged yourself to write a book, and you’ve only got a month to do it in.