Today marks the halfway point of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This November, writers from all around the world have been racing to complete a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days.
If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, maybe you’re one of those writers who’s already finished their novel or is right on track to have it completed by November 30. If so, congratulations! But maybe you’re like me: terribly behind in your word count and feeling a bit overwhelmed.
I jumped into the challenge excited to begin working on a new story. But soon my schedule became busy. I kept writing when I could, but I started to fall behind in my target daily word count. Today when I checked my stats, I realized I was over 10,000 words behind.
When you’re working on a huge writing project and start falling behind, it’s easy to feel frustrated and even consider giving up. That’s how I’ve felt at times, but I’ve kept moving forward, thanks in part to some wonderful advice from John Steinbeck.
Steinbeck was an expert at finishing long writing projects. The Grapes of Wrath is over 500 pages long while his marvelous epic East of Eden (one of my favorite novels) runs about six hundred pages. In a 1962 letter to his friend Robert Wallsten, Steinbeck shared his six strategies for successfully making it through the first draft of a book.
Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, writing a nonfiction or fiction book on your own, or just tackling a huge writing project, John Steinbeck’s six tips can help you get back on track to bringing your project through to completion.
I’ve taken his tips and presented them in a helpful infographic. Check it out below.