My home is a wreck, my husband is already beginning to wonder if I'm ever going to return to the land of the living, and I have amassed a small word army to unleash on the world. NaNoWriMo is right on schedule!
But, if you're like me - and thousands of other NaNoers - week two is going to suck. Big time. This is where we realize just how horrendously tall the mountain is that we have committed to climb. We can see the storms raging, the muddy pitfalls, and the harpies of pleasurable distractions. It's just so much. Maybe we should all quit now.
Don't go there.
You'll be fine. We all will. This is my ninth NaNoWriMo and, no matter how many times I go on this wild adventure, week two is always the same story. But I haven't died yet. Neither will you.
Week one was your story's introduction. Week two is all about the dreaded plot-building. This is where your characters must do something now that they are here. And that's why it looks so scary.
The following three tips have always helped me get past that fright:
Unless you have superhuman writing skills (which, granted, may be your mutant power), your prose this week will not be pretty. The way to get over it is simply to keep up the momentum. Don't stop to tweak a scene or make the king's speech an oratory wonder. If you stop to get it "right," you'll never move on. The key to success this week is speed.
In other words, write. Don't think. Write.
Keep A Sound Body
November is not the greatest month for high-intensity endeavors that will leave you susceptible to the germs running rampant. So take care of your body.
Keep yourself clean.
Bundle up if you're chilly.
If, like me, you forget to eat when you're writing, set a timer. You need to keep up your strength.
Sleep. Even if it means missing a few words.
I know this sounds like common sense but, let's face it - there's not a whole lot of room for sense in our heads right about now. So it's good to be reminded. This week and all the weeks after will only be ten times worse if you catch a cold or let your body run down.
Write Every Day
Week two is notorious for distracting NaNoers. So write every single day to keep up your imagination's momentum and your word count's for when you've got nothing. Even if you're dead tired, take five minutes. Write a hundred or two hundred words. Then call it a night. It will be that much less you have to do the next day.
Even if you can't meet your daily goal, write something. I guarantee you'll feel much better the next day.
Keep these tips close to you this week and you'll come out all right at the end. Even if you get behind, keep going. Week three is far more exciting than it looks right now. I promise.
Have you collected any survival tips for week two of NaNoWriMo? Is the concept of a difficult second week completely foreign to your genius? Share your thoughts in the comments!