Mid-Month Slump

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_participantThe holiday season is officially upon us. Thanksgiving is in a week. Following that, all the other holiday madness, from the fun of parties and celebrations, to stress over not having enough money to stretch to all the gifts and charities and so on, to squeezing in every last required social engagement, to the inevitable madness that is usually both good and bad of spending time with extended family, to all the other things that come with this whirlwind time of year.

But for some of us, we can’t even start holiday preparation yet, because we’re still in the throes of NaNoWriMo.

For those of us participating, we’re just past the half-way mark, which means, ideally, we should have over 28,000 words written to be on par for the month.

That’s a lot of words.

Between late-night writing sprints and juggling life outside of writing time, it’s exhausting to try to keep up. Also, by this point, many of us pantsers have exhausted the great ideas we had starting out, and now our stories are lagging, and we’re not sure where to go next.

Mid-Month Slump strikes again!

In another week, panic will set in and we’ll start pounding out words again, just to get finished, but in general, this week is a hard one. It’s hard to keep up. It’s hard to stay motivated. It’s hard to get over the hump and make it to the end.

I’m actually ahead of par on NaNoWriMo. screenshot-1

My personal goal was not just to make the NaNo goal, but to complete the entire novel I am working on (aiming for about 80K). I hit my 50K on Monday. First time I’ve ever done it so quickly, and I may or may not ever do it again. But it felt really good to make the goal in half the time.

However, that also means my Mid-Month Slump is that much worse. I’ve already hit the target, so now it’s easy to not try quite so hard for the next one. I’m at the point in my story where I really need to start upping the stakes, which means, for me, killing people off.

I just killed a character, but he was fairly evil, so it’s not overly traumatizing. But now I have start killing some beloved characters and at least endangering others.

And I have to keep writing.

My goal is not yet reached, and with all the things happening next week, I don’t have time to slack. So, little by little, I’m keeping up my writing, pushing on, and slowly but surely getting past the Mid-Month Slump.

How about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? How’s it coming?


About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

4 comments on “Mid-Month Slump

  1. That’s awesome! Good for you!
    The week 2 slug was difficult to get through but got out of it and really took off… Only to get hit by a cold.. But still trying to get some words in. Good luck on your goal!

  2. I’m in awe of your early win, Avily! Great job!

    I so enjoy NaNoWriMo and the burst of commitment it gives me towards writing each year. This year I’ve used it to good effect in establishing a closer-to-daily writing habit, but I can see that my other life and family commitments would suffer if I put enough time towards writing to “win” the 50,000 word prize.

    It galls me to go into a challenge like this and not make it.

    But I also refuse to let someone else’s arbitrary number define my success. I’m stubborn like that, too. So I plan to celebrate at the end of November, regardless of my word count, and ignore that annoying little voice that says, “Loser.” 😉

    • Yeah, you definitely have to find what works for you.
      I am definitely feeling the strain of not getting enough sleep and my house being in (more) disarray, and all the other things that come along with giving such devoted time to it.
      At the same time, though, I’m feeling accomplished and very excited to finish the story. I set goals for myself throughout the year, but since there’s no one to hold me to them, they’re more arbitrary, and thus it’s easier to make excuses for not finishing them.
      Entering my daily word count, watching the graph go up, seeing the green line that says I’ve met the daily quota–even though it’s someone else’s system and arbitrary numbers, that level of accountability is really motivating for me.
      And it’s one month a year that I’m pretty much guaranteed to have something to show for my time, when during the rest of the year there are many, many days where life crops up and I do no writing at all.

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