NaNoWriMo begins on November 1!

avoiding burnout

avoiding burnout
50,038 / 50,000
Official Participant
Joined: Oct 28, 2010
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 31
Posted on:
Nov 2, 2010 - 22 54

Hi! There seem to be a lot of experienced Wrimos in this forum, so I figured I would ask this here. This is my first try at Nanowrimo, and my first attempt at novel-length fiction. My draft is already three times longer than the longest piece I had ever written! That's exciting! However, I'm terrified of burning out. How do you guys keep yourselves going once you've...gotten going? How do you avoid the dreaded blinking cursor of writer's block? I have been trying to finish each session on a mini-cliffhanger, so that I know where to begin when I pick up again later. That's helped tremendously, so I'm wondering if you guys have any other tricks that work for you. Thanks!



The day is slipping away, why am I
out here, what do they want?
I am sorrowful in November...
- Anne Sexton, from "Hurry Up Please It's Time"

KatherineWritingGlowing Halo
161,514 / 50,000
Municipal Liaison
Joined: Oct 10, 2006
Location: Warrenville, IL
Posts: 133
Posted on:
Nov 3, 2010 - 04 19

Write every day.
Find someone who is just ahead of you in word count, and try to get ahead of them. (They may well notice and write more, which then makes you write more which....)

If a particular scene is slowing you down, write, ADD: MORE and skip it. (I usually come back to the ADD:MORE later the same day and find it much easier to fill in what was slowing me down after I've let my unconscious think about it.)

Take a walk--and don't listen to music, or talk with someone, or even try to think about the novel. Just let your mind wander. Then sit down and write.

BIC -- Butt in Chair, whenever you get the chance. Try not to do other computer stuff until you've made your minimum word count for the day.

J.A. KosseGlowing Halo
109,919 / 50,000
Official Participant
Joined: Aug 25, 2008
Location: Downer's Grove, IL
Posts: 59
Posted on:
Nov 3, 2010 - 01 17

Everyone eventually feels "I would rather do the dishes/actually do work/go to the dentist" around the middle of your novel. I think the most important thing we have is willpower and discipline to overcome it. Regardless of how painful it is, sometimes you have to force yourself to make wordcount that day. By the end of that session you'll feel so much more satisfied than you did at the beginning. Also, the brain has a way of wanting to avoid the doldrums. Trust your writerly instincts navigate you from a boring scene and towards something exciting that you can get into.


a venomoid is a poisonous snake that has had its fangs and venom glands removed to make it safe for human handling. what if vampires were required to undergo this operation? [[Wrote THE END! 9 AM on 11/19/2010]]

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