Unlock the Muse – July 30, 2019

Camp NaNoWriMo ends tomorrow. Ready or not, Camp is closing for the season. Time to clean out your bunks and pack up to go home. Back to real life.

It also means that deadline has gone beyond looming, and is now breathing impatiently down the back of your neck. If you’re here with me, up against this deadline, don’t give up. Keep going until the end. I believe in NaNo miracles!

Here’s your writing prompt for this week:

Write for 10 minutes today. Tomorrow add five more minutes, the next day five more, etc., until you complete one writing goal.

Whatever that next goal is, put in the time to make it happen. And don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach that goal! Me? I’m going to finally binge watch Stranger Things once this is over!

As it’s the fifth Tuesday of July, this is sort of a bonus week. As such, I’ll share briefly about the down side of deadlines. I know, I’ve been raving all month about how great deadlines are at motivating you toward that goal. But let’s get honest for just a bit, shall we?

Deadlines aren’t always fun. Or helpful. Sometimes they are down right stressful. Unless it’s your livelihood at stake, sometimes it’s even okay to reevaluate that goal and that deadline.

I am something of an over-achiever, and this year, I set myself up with more than is good for me. Between my reading and writing challenges, I’m not keeping up very well, and it has begun to wear me out. I’m battling burn-out and discouragement.

This is another thing I love about Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s flexible, and allows you to set goals for yourself that are both challenging and reasonable. It will also allow you to change those goals when they are no longer reasonable. And this is exactly what I did. I was no longer having fun with my writing project. It had become a slog I had to get through and a massive guilt monkey hanging around my neck. No one needs that, and so I lowered my word count goal to a more reasonable, more reachable, number. It will still be a push to finish this thing on time, but I can breathe again. And enjoy my story again.

So, deadlines are great. Until they’re not. Don’t be afraid to rethink your goals. Push back the deadline. Break the larger goal into smaller, more manageable ones. It’s okay. It’s not cheating. It’s not giving up. It’s about stepping back and remembering why you started this project in the first place.

Happy writing!

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