The second week of NaNoWriMo started yesterday. So far, I’m still holding on, but given that I haven’t planned the next scene beyond the one I’m writing as I write this blog post (also much later than I’d like to), I’m pretty sure that I will, in fact, fall behind today. I haven’t slept too well over the past week. As a result, I feel hungover despite not having had a drink in days. So today is a perfect day for today’s topic: taking the quick win.

Do what you like!

I’m pretty good at writing action. Give me a heist or a fight scene, and I can write for days. I am here for the drama. But what I’m writing is a more quiet, very dark novel about family and obligation and all that. I need to finish a scene today, but I think that I’m going to work on one of my tentpole scenes after that where the drama is high and there may even be some violence. My friend Jay can write witty dialogue all day and get in 20 000 words in a long weekend. Figure out your own free get and lean into it. Me, I write violence. I’m taking it as a form of self-care.

Get some sleep

Speaking of self-care, get some damn sleep. This is more advice to myself than anything else. I’ve been working far too long into the night, so by the time I get to bed, I’m past my ideal bed time and wired and need chemical aid to get to sleep and then I wake up at around 5:30 freaked out by all the things I need to get done. It’s not sustainable by any stretch, so I need to get rid of this habit. Sleep might not be the thing lacking for you. Maybe it’s exercise. Maybe it’s sunlight (hello SAD). Whatever it is, find the thing that’s missing from you and get some!

Sometimes you just need to fall behind

Finally, sometimes you just fall behind from where you want to, or need to be. And that’s fine as well. It’s hardly ideal, but it happens. Just try to be kind to yourself when you do. Falling behind is not a disaster. If you’re under contract, tell your editor you’re not going to be able to make it. If it’s a NaNoWriMo, well, even if you wind up at 45 000 like I did the last time around, that’s still 45 000 words more than you had at the beginning of the month. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to catch up. And if you don’t, that’s still okay.

If you want to follow what’s happening on my NaNoWriMo more closely, head on over to YouTube where I’m uploading a video every day until the end of the month. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a lot of words to get to.