OK… shoot me. I was supposed to post this on Monday but anyone who is doing NaNoWriMo this year knows just how crazy things get!
Rachel Muller has been through an intense couple of years and she has a unique outlook on how writing and publishing works…
Every obstacle in her path, she has found a way around, under or through it – so I thought it would be a great idea to have her write a little pep talk for us too!
So here it is…
Wow! If any of you feel like I do, I’m sure you’re saying right now, “Where did November go?” Thanksgiving is very swiftly coming upon us. Soon we will find ourselves scooped into the arms of loved ones and counting our blessings from the last 12 months.
As the air around us turns colder and daylight lessens, I not only find joy in family gatherings, but I also find this time of year most inspirational in my writing. While I have never participated in NanoWriMo, I know plenty of authors who have. I know the personal deadlines and quotas can become grueling as Thanksgiving approaches and the end of the Nano draws near.
You’ve passed the 50% mark in your novel, now you’re whizzing by 85% and probably about 90% through your rough draft. Way to go! Grab your favorite chocolate bar and reward yourself for sticking to it and getting this far! Your novel is nearly complete!
But maybe you’re exhausted. All this seasonal planning, and Autumn cleaning, and housing in-laws is distracting you from typing out those 1500 words or sitting down for one hour intervals of writing time. I know. I feel it too. My book due out in January is still under content edit and still needs to go through final edits before January 1st! Now we’ve hit a slump.
How do find strength and inspiration to finish that last 10%? I have a few ideas and encouraging thoughts that may help:
- The end of Hebrews 12:1 and beginning of v. 2 tells us, “…let us run the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
If the burden to write has been placed on your heart, it wasn’t by mistake. Divine appointing has gifted you with the talent to write. Use it for God’s glory and don’t ignore the calling placed on your life. Somewhere down the road, someone will receive a blessing from your story. You’ve started the “race” for November, cross that finish line and look back on what you are capable of handling.
- You may be hitting that slow spot in your novel and you’re ready to speed things up a bit. You’re ready to have everyone kiss and make up, and your fingers are itching to write “The End.”
Whoa! Hold the reins! Slow down just a tad. Remember, this is YOUR story. These are the lives of YOUR characters. Allow them to develop. Allow the plot to untangle itself. Take one chapter at a time and let those characters and scenes have the spot light.
- Maybe you’re feeling uninspired. If you’ve written faithfully every night this month and dried up all those creative juices, you’re probably sitting at that white screen in front and…
What does character X say now? What should happen to Mrs. Y?
Well, there are a few different avenues to help get those creative juices flowing once again.
- Walk away from the screen. Give yourself a little break. Find your happy place. It may be a nice walk in the woods. A drive in the mountains. A trip to the local zoo. Maybe even that book with the great cover that’s on your To-Be-Read pile. (and here’s where I put that plug in for my WWII novel, Letters from Grace) 😉
Wherever that happy place is, embrace it. Allow your mind to settle and relax. Some of my greatest lines comes to mind when I lay down for the night. I keep a handy notepad and pen at my bedside at all times for moments like those.
- Bounce your ideas off someone you trust and whom you feel comfortable taking advice from. Sometimes outside situations and friend-to-friend conversations will help you think outside the box.
John 14:14 says, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
As a new and emerging author, I have committed to start each writing session with prayer. I pray that the words flowing from my imagination and onto the screen in front of me will find that someone who will find strength encouragement through not just the words I’ve written, but the words God has given me to write.
I want to thank Rachel Miller for inviting me to guest post today. I wish every participant of NanoWriMo the best in your writing endeavor. It is an exciting, frustrating, mind-boggling, and fulfilling accomplishment to come this far. Never give up.
For those first-timers out there: Find the strength to write those last few chapters. In just 6 days you will be able to look at your computer screens and say, “I just wrote my first novel!” Be proud of yourself. You have accomplished what few people have in life.
For those who may not be able to finish by November 30th: It’s okay! Don’t stop there. You’ve come this far already. Get right back to it on December 1st and pen that next chapter. Give yourself a new deadline. We’ll all be cheering you on!
Blessing to everyone and have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
Yeah… shoot me! We all could have used that a week ago. Oh well… These WONDERFUL words will help me get to the end. And for those who are not participating in NaNoWriMo… or those of us who will continue writing when November is over and no one is counting our words anymore – Rachel’s words will help us keep going when we really want to quit!
I know when I read them the first time, I felt so inspired and just in awe of what a wonderful message Rachel wrote out for us! God has truly blessed her!
THANK YOU Rachel! You are such an encouragement to me!
Rachel writes beneath the belly of B-29 Superfortress, one of the many inspirations radiating from her World War II-themed office. Her debut novel, Letters from Grace, released September, 2014, and became an Amazon Top 100 Best Seller. She resides in Central Maryland with her husband and four children. Readers can learn more about Rachel at www.racheldmuller.com or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon, and Goodreads. She also write for the Modern Belles of History Blog!
You can purchase her most recent release: Letters From Grace – HERE!