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Staying motivated in Nanowrimo

It’s day 10 of Nanowrimo, which means at least 33,33% of your goal is already done!! Congratulations if you’re there, and if you’re not, that’s okay too — it’s all about trying to catch up and do your best. After the first week hits, our motivations tend to waver a little if not go downhill at full force. Some of us hit that soft middle spot in our MS (my most hated part, to be honest), some of us are still stuck in the beginning without knowing how to move forward. I’ve tried often to put in words what I do to try to stay motivated or how I know I can get to the end of a manuscript (surprisingly, it isn’t all pig-headed stubborness) and I hope to do a series on that soon, but for the main part, to me it’s about staying inspired.

Staying inspired?, you shout, with your dignified tone, and I GET it. It’s hard to stay inspired when you force yourself to hit almost 2k per day for a whole month so you can get to the end of it.

It’s true, it’s hard, but to get to the end of Nanowrimo, you have to remember all the things that made you want to write your story in the first place. It’s about falling in love with it once more, even as you write it. How do I do this? All kinds of stuff, but mainly, it’s about MOOD.

Mood makes me dive into the story and remember the many things I liked about it in the first place. It helps me dive back into the world I’ve created with ease, and the words flow more freely. I guess the first thing I work with is imagery — so the first thing I always create is a pinterest board when I get a new idea. For this Nanowrimo, I’m writing a story that got inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, and book one is a retelling os sorts of the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. For this, I’ve created a board, and started pinning images to it, like these ones:

By going back to my pinterest board, I can get back into the mood I’ve tried to create for my story, and get inspired to sit back down in a chair and write what I have to. I even use one of the images as the back of my full-screen Scrivener log, so the mood is always there to help me set the story.

Another thing that helps me are the world I’ve created — I usually put everything in a notebook, writing down tidbits of information about characters, geography and what not. This time, I’ve even created a map, plotting everything down where I wanted it to be. It’s very useful to keep track of what you’ve written and names of secondary characters. And of course, writing cute litle snippets of cookie scenes that you’ve wanted to write for a while.

Sometimes, I also resort to drawing. I love drawing, even if I’m not very good at it. It lets my mind wander free for a while, and to try and see my characters in a different manner. Some people like to do interviews, but with me, it has never worked — drawing however, was always fun, and I love to put them on paper on a different way. You can check some of my drawins on instagram (am hoping to put a pic of my current protagonists soon!)

And lastly, I also look for music! It doesn’t even have to remind me of the story exactly, as long as it helps set the mood so I can get back into the world of the WIP as I try to write back. So if it’s something epic and battle-like, I listen to Two Steps from Hell, or sometimes a ballet, or anything else that slightly reminds me of the mood of my story. For this one, I’ve been putting the soundtrack of the Prince of Persia movie on repeat, several times. I love that movie (and it would’ve been even greater if not for all the whitewashing happening in it…. *sigh*) and the music is GORGEOUS. I’m leaving you with a piece.

So, for me, that’s pretty much it! Sometimes I even go back and reread what I have (even if a lot of people don’t recommend it) and it drives me right back into the story I’m writing, inspiring me to continue. I hope you all like this post, and good luck with Nanowrimo!

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