National Writing Month is here – Here’s How I Handle It.

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November brings the writers out who wish to work on “National Writing Month!” This is when writers set goals, often 50k words for the month, in order to help finish manuscripts, blogs, and other writing projects. You will often see the “Nanowrimo” hashtag thrown around by writers if they are participating this month.

This can be a tough project, and while there are no real stakes, writers often need to juggle other jobs and life in general. Even writing 2k words a day can be difficult with all of those responsibilities. I’m one of those folks who falls into this, as I have a full time job on top of my many writing projects. Which includes this blog! Though I’ve been doing great with the upkeep on this blog lately.

Therefore, I tend to set aside an hour or two and shut everything off. Given I have ADHD, that’s super difficult, and I will sometimes break my own rules to check Twitter or Discord. When I get really into the groove, however, I can get a ton of writing done. It’s a certain type of feeling when the muse takes over and moves your fingers across the keyboard or paper. My typing speed is roughly 85-90 wpm, so if my mind is in the right place, I can get a ton done.

Something particularly odd that I noticed, given my darker urban fantasy genre, is that listening to soft sleep-time music actually helps my concentration. Before, I would listen to alternative lyrical music, which could be distracting. My writing is very action heavy, so you would think action-heavy music would be a good fit. However, this varies, and sometimes the calmer music is better even for those bloody action scenes. This isn’t always the case, however, as I will hop from thing to thing with seemingly no discernable pattern. It’s how my brain works.

Often, when I’m at work, in the shower, reading something, or watching something, I will get more and more ideas. I try to write this down in a google.doc so I can remember later. The consequence is having so many unwritten ideas, but is it really a bad thing when it could be a book someday? I think not! If I had the more time in my daily life, I probably would have a few other series out by now.

I spontaneously swapped my NaNoWriMo project as well. I’m a true ‘pantser’ at heart; I will just see where the story takes me with some vague idea of where it will go in terms of world building. I have several books I would like to write for The Vampire Wars world, which has the lore on this website, but for now, a new project will be a nice breath of fresh air. I can return to my first world and characters at some other time.

I will be re-using some of the lore I’ve written from my current series. I love my living vampires too much not to reuse the concepts. Can you blame me? When you write something that you adore so much in terms of worldbuilding, it is entirely okay to use it again for others worlds. My creatures will work the same way typically, just with different origins depending on the world. This next project I am taking more of a magical origin while at the same time maintaining biology for how their bodies or diets work.

My settings honestly aren’t going to vary much. I might create a new world, and might not have things take place on Earth, but an urban/modern setting is what I prefer. I don’t glorify ‘the olden days’ like many people when it comes to fantasy, and love having tech/advancement at my fingertips. I can read other works taking place in the past, I suppose, and don’t care enough to research those settings to have my ‘immersion’ broken that much. But when it comes to my favorite genre, my heart will always in in urban fantasy.

The final thing I’d like to say is that I keep a to-do list for daily tasks beyond just my writing projects. It’s to keep me on track in general, and I am getting better at it, though I lapse sometimes in not completing everything on my list. I also have a habit of overloading myself and feeling guilty when not completing said list, so it’s a double-edged sword. Overall, though, I would say it’s helped me a lot.

Good luck with your National Writing Month projects, everyone, if you are participating! I am going to try to hit 50k words myself this month, and that isn’t including blog posts like this or other responsibilities I have that involve writing. Keep your chin up and use the best strategies for you so you can get your own inner success! And remember, the stakes aren’t truly there, so don’t feel too guilty if you are not able to do this challenge.

Published by Des M. Astor

Heya, I'm an author. Typically I write Urban Fantasy, and I only usually read in that genre as well. My author's website is both a writing blog and a showcase for my work. Check it out if you'd like.

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