It happens to everyone, to the point where it is a recognised part of NaNoWriMo. You start out enthusiastic, looking forward to getting all your brilliant ideas committed to paper (or screen), itching to start, then writing your daily quota each day effortlessly. (Well, sometimes…)
Then you hit week two. And suddenly, the ten thousand odd words you’ve written seem tiny in comparison to your goal. It’s like standing at the bottom of a mountain, thinking you’ve made some progress in climbing, then looking up to realise the summit barely seems any closer.
Well, I’m having an interesting week two here. I’m behind (more than 10,000 words behind!), and so I’m surprised to find that I’m still enthusiastic, still itching to find time to sit down and write my words.
What? Shouldn’t the fact that I’m behind mean I’m struggling even more with the week two blues? What’s going on?
Well, I have a theory. I’m proposing that the problem’s we encounter in week two have nothing to do with our wordcounts, and everything to do with the point in the story you reach during week two.
By the time I hit week two, and I’ve written around 10k+ words, then I’m past the bits I have planned. I’ve set everything up, the character’s and situations are all defined, and the initial problem has been well and truly expanded upon.
In week two, you hit the middle of your story. If you’re a pantser like me, this may well be about where your initial ideas end, and now you’re heading into uncharted territory. You have no idea what you’re going to write when you sit down, so you’re just as likely to end up staring at a blank page.
If you’re like me, and week two hits you because you’re not sure where your story is going now, don’t despair, there is a simple solution.
Sit down and plan.
Now, if you’re a pantser, don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you, and close the webpage and move on. I’m talking to you even more so. Yep, I’m a pantser, and I love finding out about the story as I go along. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have any idea what’s going to happen next.
Once you sit down and come up with a few interesting twists to throw at your characters, you may just find that you’re week two blues disappear, and you’ll be back to flying through the wordcount.
Of course, I still have some writing to do before I reach that point. I’d better stop posting, and get back to writing!
How about you? How’s your writing progress going? Do you usually hit a point in a story where you get stuck? Any tips for overcoming the week two blues?