“What is wrong with me? Why did I write that? It’s fatal trash….” I think many of us can say that during NaNoWriMo. We’ve written a page, chapter, or even a 10,000-word chunk of writing that we think is the worst thing ever composed by any human. Is it possible to just keep writing?
And, so, we face that problem: “What do I do now? Trash what I’ve written, take the loss, and move forward from somewhere else? Or do I keep going and realize this manuscript will only ‘win’ NaNo for me and nothing else, ever? Or do I move on and just hope, somehow, I can come back in December and redeem this piece of literary vomit?”
My simple word of advice? Just keep writing with the hope of future redemption. NaNoWriMo is about getting a rough draft of 50,000 words or more written, not writing the next best-selling novel in 30 days. Granted, some of us have no issues producing a rough draft in a week or two, but who cares?
Those drafts need major rewrites and edits, just like those that require the entire 30 days to put together a rough draft. Rough drafts are almost always complete rubbish. That’s what editing is for!
And if you trash more than a couple of paragraphs at any point during the month, you could significantly damage your hopes of winning NaNo this year. So when I write utter rubbish that leads the story down the wrong track, I cut and paste it at the end of the document. It may offer something valuable to rewrites later, but even if it doesn’t, it increases your word count toward winning NaNoWriMo.
Keep at it. And keep writing and writing. Don’t turn back. Don’t even cast a glance over your shoulder or think about that red pen. Instead, press forward and come back and save the swimming cat later. It can tread water for a long time.
Looking for more writing inspiration? Check out these other offerings from the MockingOwls.
- Cozy Mystery Writing Prompts
- Action/Adventure Writing Prompts
- Falling in Love
- Writing Inspiration Games and Tips I Use Each Year
- The Power of Words
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.