Monday 7 November 2022

Spoonie Writer: Keeping Motivated


NaNoWriMo is upon us, and once again we're trying to write 50K or we're being a rebel and setting our own word count. I know that for a lot of writers, this is their season for getting things done, and for a lot of spoonie writers, it's also the season where they try maybe, and find themselves getting overwhelmed, either through a flare or just general fatigue from pushing so hard to write those 1,667 words every single day.

If you don't know, I do NaNoWriMo pretty much every year, and 2022 is no different. My plan is to be somewhat a rebel in that I'll be working on 50K over two different projects, rather than the usual one. I've been doing this every November since about 2015/2016 when I set myself the goal to write one page for every day of the month. I met that goal, and in the year following was able to get to a point where I could, somewhat, write 50K in a month. A lot of has happened since then, health has gotten worse, life has gotten more complicated and so usually I only go for 50K in November, and May (those are usually my brand new projects months) and the rest of the year I sit around the 40K mark.

I'm not going to tell you, as a spoonie, or as a writer, that you just have to keep pushing yourself until you get there because it's both not true, and not healthy, also it breeds some pretty bad writing habits and you may end up getting to the point where you hate your project to the point that you put it away and never pick it back up again. I don't want that for you, I don't want that for any writer, and that's one of the reason why I am such a big advocate for taking whatever time you need and slow and steadily winning the race that way.

So I'm not going to tell you to push, and I am going to advocate for taking your time, so what exactly is the use of a post that goes out at the end of the first week of NaNoWriMo? Glad you asked, because I'm going to give you some tips for what to do when you know you want to write, but you're unsure if you can write much, or in your usual spot.


I go through stages of writing in bed, at my desk, on the couch. I usually try and go for where it's going to cause me the least pain. Right now I'm more comfortable in my wheelchair at my desk because of the way it's all set up, but during long writing sessions, I might switch between the two, and that's completely okay. If you're trying to get to a massive word count, then you need to be somewhat comfortable doing so. If that means you retire to bed to get your words at ten am, then so be it!

So I'm not someone who does writing sprints all that often. I find that I work better in silence and on my own, and just sit down to pour out the words without any timer that's going to ding in my ear the moment I get into the flow. That said, if you are someone who does find the social part of sprints work for you, or even just the timer helps, then by all means take advantage of that during this month. But, also remember that rest isn't the enemy here. It might feel like it when you're 1K words down and you don't have much longer, but resting is so very important, not just for a spoonie, but for anyone. The last thing we want is burnout, and that happens especially from not taking the appropriate rests.


Now everyone manages their time differently, and they all go about it in different ways. I have my planner, and my ipad calendar, and others will use time blocking and such. However you plan, try and have some idea of when your best time to write is, and also how much you can get done in a block comfortably. I'm going to emphasise that it should be comfortably, because pushing ourselves is just going to lead to stress and upset and no one can work well with either.


Whether this is from your friends, your family, your partner or just the writing community as a whole. If there's a way to get help with something in your writing, or out of it, then go ahead and ask for that help. There is nothing wrong with needing it, it doesn't make you weak in the slightest. Asking for help and getting that help to smooth the way for writing is a golden tip, and you can use it as often as you need.

So there we go, those are my tips, may I wish you all a happy NaNoWriMo and hope that you achieve your goals!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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