I’ve posted in the past about this awesome project that helps show kids the power of imagination. Without any guidelines elementary school students are asked to draw a monster. The finished drawings are sent to artists around the world who recreate them using 3D illustrations, animations, and paintings. The finished works and then sent back to the children.
Whether you’re new to NaNoWriMo or you’ve done it a few
times, the whole thing can still feel pretty daunting. Since we’re only a
couple days away from the start of a new one, I want to encourage you to set
some goals and make sure you’ve done some planning before diving in. When you
only have a month to complete a project, you’ll want to make sure you’re
organized and excited.
Here are a few tips for making your NaNoWriMo journey an
Pick a Project
I like participating in NaNoWriMo and I’ve penned a few
novels through it, but I don’t always use it for the same thing. The point of
NaNoWriMo is to motivate yourself to get something
done or started. Sure, finishing the first draft of your novel is usually the
goal, but I plan on using next month for editing an already completed novel.
Maybe you’ll use November to work on your outline or finish some project that’s
been nagging at you. Use November for writing and make it about you. Push
yourself to cross that finish line.
Print a Calendar
Find a November calendar, print it out, and keep track of
your accomplishments. When you can cross those days off, jot down your word
count, or write something encouraging—all those things can go a long way. Make
note of any obligations you might have so you can adjust accordingly.
Enlist a Friend
NaNoWriMo can be very personal, but you don’t have to do it
alone! Even if you don’t have a writing friend, there’s a huge online
community. Sign up for your NaNoWriMo account, find other participants on
Twitter, and start a conversation! Everyone will be going through something similar
Jot Down a Timeline
Figuring out how many words you want to write a day or
taking note of any other goals is an important step during NaNoWriMo. If you’re
writing your first novel, work on an outline or prepare yourself for when
NaNoWriMo begins. Knowing where you want your story to go can be a big help.
Clean off your desk, find a calm writing space, and take
care of yourself. Don’t let the rest of your life fall apart because you want
to finish the first draft of a novel. Eat right, take a long shower or bath, focus on your mental health, and have conversations with other writers. This is supposed to be fun! If you’re
working from an outline, make any adjustments before you go to bed that night
so you’re prepped for the next day. Enjoy yourself.
I have a hard time focusing on one project. I usually jump from project to project without completing anything. Right now I'm working on three stories at once and limiting myself to just those 3 and it's working better but I wish I could focus better
Focusing on One Project
I used to be guilty of this myself, and at the time, I thought I had a great idea to keep me focused on each project equally. I assigned each project a day of the week, and I would only work on that project on that day. Then, I’d have a “free day” where I could work on whatever I wanted. If this sounds appealing to you, give it a try! It unfortunately didn’t work for me :-\
But I’m pretty sure the reason it didn’t work was because I wasn’t equally invested in each project, which meant that equal time each week wasn’t proportionate to my writing interests. One week I might be really into Project A, and the next week I didn’t even want to look at it. I discovered that while I bounced around a lot, it wasn’t because I was super excited about all three. It was because I lost steam with one, and rather than spinning my wheels, I’d use my time to work on something else. It’s not a terrible strategy, but it doesn’t really solve the problem of finding focus.
Before I give you suggestions on how to work on only one project, let me preface it by saying that there’s nothing wrong with working on three at a time. You write the way that creates the most enjoyment for you. If you enjoy each of these projects, then work on all three! There’s no rule saying you can’t write three stories at once. You also might find that as you’re writing, one story will eventually emerge as your favorite, and you’ll neglect the other two while your muse is busy working. Let it happen organically. As long as you’re writing, you’re moving forward. Let yourself be surprised by which direction you end up going.
If, however, you really, really want to focus on one, then read on.
Start training yourself bit by bit.
Try the strategy I mentioned at the beginning of the post. Assign each project a day of the week, or two days if you feel up to the task. You might even use one day to outline what you plan to write, and then write it on the second day. Break up your week however it works best in your schedule, but try to keep time spent on your projects divided up evenly.
Try this for about a month, and then extend the period you’re working on each. Assign each project a whole week during the month, and on that project’s assigned week, you can only work on that project. And work includes both planning, outlining, writing, and editing. If you do happen to get a random idea for Project C during Project A’s week, definitely jot it down. It’ll give you a jumping off point when Project C’s week arrives.
Again, try this for a while, maybe 2 or 3 months. And then challenge yourself to only work on one project for one whole month. This whole process of training your brain to focus could take up to a year, but most likely during that year, you’ll wind up choosing one project that really ignites your interest, and this whole schedule will go out the window as you focus intensely on that one project.
If you find yourself dropping projects and adding new ones during this process, that’s totally fine. But if you do add new projects, make sure you’re replacing one. Try to keep yourself to only three.
Anytime we want to train ourselves to do something, we start by doing it in baby steps. Start by focusing on one project for a couple a days, then a week, then a month.
Turn three projects into one.
If you’ve got three projects that are all holding your attention, then you could attempt a story smash. Take all three and try to combine them into one story. Depending on how different the three are, this could be a huge challenge, but potentially worth your time.
Take one of your characters and have them step into a scene of one of your other stories. Don’t forget where the character is coming from; bring their experiences and their background into the story they’re visiting. If things seem awkward, send them home. Keep trying this until one of your characters seems at home, and then see if you can bridge the two stories together.
If one of your stories currently lacks a climax, then take one of the climaxes from one of the other projects and have them share. By making the climax of Project A the same climax as Project B, it becomes a new challenge to drive Project A towards this unexpected conclusion. You might have to borrow plot points and even characters from Project B.
If you’re writing vastly different projects, like a realistic novel and a fantasy story, you can still smash these together. Have one of the characters of your realistic novel discover the fantasy world. What happens when they cross into it?
Figure out what’s stopping you.
Keep a journal and record which project you’re working on during each session. Whenever you switch to another project, explain why in your journal. If you’re in a particular mood, describe it. If you’re stuck on your plot, write what concerns you have. If a character is annoying you, tell them how they could stop annoying you (yes, tell them, as in, address the journal entry to your character).
What you’re basically doing is putting an obstacle between switching projects, making it more difficult to do so. You’re also identifying the reasons why you don’t want to work on the other project, and in describing the problem, you might end up forcing your brain to devise solutions.
You also might find that it’s not so much problems on Project A that are making you want to switch, but rather excitement in Project B. If that’s the case, explain what characters or scenes you’re anxious to work on in Project B, or you’re simply “in the mood,” see if you can identify why. What happened during your day that might have triggered it?
Regardless of what happens, write what you want to write. Your ideas might seem unfocused now, but if you keep at it, I think you’ll eventually find the ideas and characters you’re truly passionate about. You just need some time to experiment in different sandboxes for a while.
MEDICALIZED UNDER THE KNIFE EXPECTED TO BE GRATEFUL TRAPPED IN THE LENS OF THE CIS-GAZE JUST ANOTHER SAD TRANSEXUAL MASCULINITY WAS THEIR ARTIFICE RIP IT AWAY FEMININITY ALWAYS THE HEART OF US! TRANS GIRLS BE FREE! I’M NOT PATHETIC I’M NOT YOUR PROJECT I WASN’T PUT HERE FOR YOU SAME BULLSHIT STORY ABOUT MY BODY MEDIA DOESN’T HAVE A CLUE MASCULINITy WAS THE ARTIFICE RIP IT AWAY FEMININITY ALWAYS THE HEART OF US! TRANS GIRLS BE FREE GET OFF MY BACK!/AHHGHHH
:T quick drawing between two research for my comic’s project I always thought Ladybug had less detail than Chat Noir for her outfit and for what I saw on internet I’m not the only one to think so but meh *shurg* More space for fan to do whaterver they want :3c So here my version of an older Ladybug with super hero suit based on … well on a ladybug and Chat Noir’s suit.
I decided before we went to celebrate the new year, I wanted to take a picture of all my friends before we all got wasted. The pictures on the left are the ones before we went out. Then after we came back we decided to take a photo to see what happened to us. The results were pretty predicting to tell you the truth, but it was definitely worth seeing.