Pep Talk - 2009 - Week 4

Well, for better or worse, we've got a little over a week left of January. For those of you who have struggled through the first three weeks, the light at the end of the tunnel is approaching. In a way, it's a thing that makes me a little sad; no matter how overjoyed or depressed I may feel about the end of the month, it still arrives right on time. Time, unfortunately, does not care about our petty sufferings.

The important thing to remember is that no matter how horrid or great you're doing, it's almost done. For some that may be panic-inducing as they realize they're not where they want to be, for others it's going to be an easy coast to the win. But either way, after the 31st, you're done. That's it. And that mindset may be what you need to get you through the last week. You only have a week to go, and then you can return to all the things in real life that demanded your attention, or perhaps start on a new project, or start editing an old one, etc., etc.

What else contributes to a good JanNo Week 4 mindset?

Perserverance. Don't give up. Okay, so I can't make you not give up, and neither can anyone else. If you give up moving toward your goal, you're only going to be disappointing yourself. But honestly, do you want to do that? Unlike a lot of things in life, a writing goal you set for yourself is something that CAN be achieved as long as you put your mind to it. There's going to be plenty of OTHER things to disappoint yourself on; a hobby you (presumably >_>) love is not something to do it on.

The goal. Don't sell yourself short. You've had three weeks to figure out what a realistic yet challenging goal is for yourself and now it's time to quit waffling over whether you can do it and bear down and get it done. Stop whining and wondering if you can do it, just do it. Don't say "oh, well, if I make [smaller goal], I'll be satisfied." Don't settle for satisfied, be estatic. Be one of those amazing come from behind Nano stories and awe and amaze the rest of the board. You will eventually not be satisfied with that smaller goal, because then you'll have to wonder if you really *could* have made it, if you'd tried.

Time management. Becomes even more important when you're getting down to the wire. It's so much easier in the beginning of the month to go "well, I've got the whole month to write this, I can slack off now". Now you can't do that. 10 days can be all the time you need to write your 50k or more...if you commit to it. If you can, push to finish early to avoid any sudden hiccups along the way. I don't accept late entries, so you will want to get the novel out the door as soon as possible. If you make your daily goal, go past it.

Discipline: I'm serious about swearing off those flash games (and the forums, if you have to!) Nothing sucks your time away like the internets. Don't fall into the trap. Obviously, those of us that can will away all internet temptations are amazing, but for those who can't, try forcing yourself away. Unplug your modem. Turn off your wireless card. Go somewhere where they don't have wireless and write. Write by hand. Anything that will get you focused on your novel and nothing else.

Health. Not something I talk a lot about, but try to get the right amounts of food and sleep (the latter particularly) until you absolutely can't in order to make the goal. We're not worrying about writing well so much as we are writing period, something you won't be able to do as quickly as you can when you're not sleep-deprived. And for your own sake, don't go overboard on the caffiene. You can seriously hurt your body with an overdose.

Mostly, just keep writing. And when you're done writing, send the novel in an email to notawebmaster AT gmail DOT com and get verified. I'm waiting for some pretty winner icons to start popping up, damnit!