Riddle me this, Batman. (If you’re actually Batman, then I’m beyond stoked that you’re here. Big fan.) How is it that one individual can write over 50,000 words in 29 days, and then barely 2,000 in the 3 months that follow?
Please tell me I’m the only person whose writing hit the skids when November ended.
Oh, NaNoWriMo. You were delightful. Why did you have to end?
I’ve still been editing my novel a little, mind you. And I’ve written quite a bit of poetry, several short stories, and blog posts (obviously). But from the end of November to the end of February, my manuscript’s word count total moved from 50,000 to barely 52,000.
I’ve finally pinpointed two issues that I can blame for my writing coming to a halt, and I’ll be spending this month and the entirety of Spring (and Summer?) working around them.
1) Television is the devil. I mean, it’s fantastic. But still, very much the devil. Why (why?!) have I gotten so invested in these TV shows? Why did I have to start watching that delightful series Cops? Why is Netflix the greatest thing ever invented? My nights pretty much feel empty if I haven’t watched a few episodes of The Office or Family Guy. And I don’t necessarily think that having favorite television shows is a horrible thing – I love writing in all art forms, and relaxing is great for your mental health. But the TV time definitely has to be limited, and that’s something I’m starting to work on, especially since I’ve realized that I CANNOT write and watch TV at the same time. Nope. not working.
2) Some people *raises hand* NEED a deadline. Yep, I’m that person. I love structure, I like rules, and I keep a list for daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, etc. I was the college student who had homework done days before it was due, I did all the bonus work the professors assigned, and any test score less than 95 seemed like failure to me. So yes, I LOVE deadlines. I love feeling like I’ve reached a goal. And it thrills me to think that I’ve finished something ahead of schedule. Seriously, friends, NaNoWriMo was custom made for me. So I’ve decided I’m going to start giving myself new deadlines. Word counts each day, page totals for the week, and so on. I’m also interested in Camp NaNoWriMo next month, but I don’t really know much about it yet. Anyway, the fact that I wrote 50k words in 4 weeks should be a pretty big testament to the fact that I do my best work under pressure.
Obviously a LOT more goes into writing, editing, and revising than just the two topics above. But I’ve noticed that watching television and working without a deadline are pretty much toxic as far as my productivity is concerned. If you have any tips for me and other people struggling with these issues, please share below!