Monday, November 11, 2013

The Effects of NaNoWriMo on the Brain

This is your brain:


This is your brain during NaNoWriMo:


These middle weeks of NaNo are the hardest. You've gotten off to a great start, but now you're bogged down in the middle, not sure what should happen next. Or maybe you've got it all outlined but suddenly the outline isn't working and you have to rethink the plot. Or maybe your fingers are just itching to go back and start revising that first chapter, but you must be strong and resist.

If you're behind, don't give up, there's plenty of time to catch up. If you're like my crazy friend Taffy and you've already written the full 50,000 words, just keep it to yourself. We don't want to hear about it. 

I've been reading some of the pep talks, and the one thing that really hit me--because I identified with it--was a something that James Patterson said.
 Think it’s hard to write every day during NaNo? Most professional writers keep this kind of pace all year round. Holidays, birthdays, vacations—you name it, we’re writing. The trick is making writing into a daily habit. Same time. Same place. Same hot beverage of choice. Every. Single. Day. Again. And. Again.
NaNo can seem like an impossible task, but the reality is, if you want to get published and succeed in the business, writing like this must become routine. And if it's not writing, it's editing, or revising, or plotting, or filling out forms for your publisher. It is like a full time job that you have to squeeze into the non-existent cracks of spare time between all your other responsibilities that you actually get paid for.

Now get off the web and get back to your novel. 

Go!

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