Today’s Friday the 13th, which means we’re almost halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo already!
For me, April’s been going pretty quickly. Out of my 55 hour writing goal I’ve racked up 18 hours, which doesn’t sound like a lot but taking my late start into consideration I’m pretty pleased with my progress!
Saying that, I still have a lot to do to catch up. I’m probably not the only one who’s struggled to pick up my pen sometimes and carry on, but fortunately I have a few things that help me get back on it!
Here are a few of my tips to help keep you motivated during Camp NaNoWriMo.
Put on some meditative music
I normally search on YoutTube for ‘meditation music’ or open up the ‘Focus’ channel on Spotify and pick a playlist. I notice a huge difference in my productivity when I’m listening to such calming music, and even when I sit down without any idea what I’m going to do, I end up producing so many ideas and linking my thoughts together so much better and more efficiently than without. It helps me get into a calmer mental zone when I’m writing and my average word count per session is often much more than when I’m not listening to anything at all!
Take a break
This can be anything from going out for a walk somewhere, or just setting time aside for some guilt-free internet browsing. If you’re struggling to get sat down, taking some time away from it mentally (and more so physically) is a good way to clean your mental slate! Make sure you time your breaks so you’re not taking too much time from your project: it’s fine to let yourself wander, as long as you find your way back!
Avoid the guilt trips
It’s okay to have off days. And off hours. And off minutes. You’re not going to be on your A-game all the time, so at times when you’re not, do not guilt yourself. It might help to instead keep yourself occupied with something else that you enjoy where you’re still being productive (for me, it’s playing guitar or solving a code problem). As a writer, inspiration will always find you.
Make a hot drink
I can’t quite explain why exactly this helps me, but often in the mornings when I have time to do some writing before work, I find a hot drink really helps me unwind and get into the ‘zone’. Maybe it’s the warmth of it in my hand, maybe it’s the taste, thinking time I have while the kettle boils, or maybe it’s just a habit I’ve formed that’s conditioned me to react that way, who knows? It’s just become one of those things in my life where if I’m sitting down for a long session and I’ve made a fresh hot mug of coffee (even a decaf one), I know I’ll be able to concentrate more.
Looking back on what’s been done already
I like to keep reminding myself how far I’ve gotten already into my project, as it helps me see the bigger picture. To look back on your project from a broader point of view is a great way to confirm to yourself that even if your producitvity has slowed down just recently, it can pick up again just as easily; even when you’ve added bits and pieces to it, you’ve still managed to build it up to what it is now. Think of every word you write as a brick in a castle that is your story; one small brick by itself doesn’t seem like much, but when you see the castle you built with all those bricks combined, it’s a lot more impressive!
If you’ve found yourself struggling to keep momentum this Camp NaNoWriMo, these tips will hopefully be just as helpful to you as they have been for me in getting out of that writing slump. What do you find helps keep you motivated?