There is a stage during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where desperation strikes, 28k words in my experience. Words dry up, your plot sags, characters won’t follow casting direction and the mere thought of your story makes you want to go hide under the bed.
During this dark stage, all your old ways of finding some inner writer strength will stop working; energetic kitchen disco dancing in your PJ’s, wearing head to toe tweed, writing your future book press release, frantically tweeting motivational quotes and demolishing a cheese board.
Your energy levels will tank and so too will your positivity.
After reading a few articles on quitting NaNoWriMo and asking your loved one, whether you should just give up (don’t expect any words of wisdom from them if they are busy watching sport on TV), you will wonder whether there is anything else you can do to bring back the writing magic.
There is another option. It comes from an old saying (which I might have just made up) ‘when in writer doubt, remind yourself that writers are actually superheroes…but without the Lyrca and the flying abilities.’
Warning – this option can give you a powerful surge of creative energy.
For all writers currently at this difficult superhero stage here’s the important reminder.
We are superheroes because…
- We change people’s lives with our stories.
- We have a special ability, we can transport our readers anywhere; into different places, times, cultures, genders, faiths and other human bodies.
- Superheroes have hideouts and so do writers. We sneak away to our ‘bat caves’ (mine is the kitchen table) and perform a few literary miracles.
- Superheroes lead mysterious lives and so do writers. We choose to spend hours in solitude talking to imaginary folk and scrutinising every word that comes out of us.
- A superhero gets a ‘call to action’, so too does a writer! We hear our muse cry out (inside our head), so we jump up and dash to the nearest laptop. If only we had a sleek ‘Superhero Writer’ Lycra number underneath our clothes… *sigh*
- Superheroes and writers are always first on the scene at the first hint of any drama.
- A writer’s Kryptonite is self-doubt. If we come into contact with self-doubt our powers start to weaken.
- Superheroes save people who are in danger. We save readers who are in between books, bored, desperate to read something, who fancy a bit of romance or just want to escape reality.
- Superheroes are constantly dealing with great conflicts which force them to challenge themselves and test their limits. We deal with great conflicts all the time. Every time we sit down to write we are challenging ourselves and testing our limits.
- Superheroes never give up – nor do true writers! 💪🏻
You are a superhero, my writer friend. You do amazing things day in day out. Out there is a reader who needs saving.
Assume a superhero pose in your living room, swish your crusader cape (flick your old writing cardi) and stride purposefully back to your laptop.
Now, get back to work!
Have a great day x