Peach the Panda and the Monsters of NaNoWriMo: Chapter 4

“THAWP.” It seemed to come out of nowhere, but Peach the Panda ran right into a wall. Things had been going great on her journey so far, but all of the sudden about 10 days in, *wham* *tackle* *thump.* A wall.

As Peach looked up at the stars from her sudden position flat on her back, she was met with a wave of panic. Why was she even bothering to take this journey through the woods? She had so much she had to get done back in the cave, and her favorite TV show, Panda Idol, was about to start. She then thought about all the pretty books just waiting to be read back in her cave. And she was so tired – this forest was tough and it simply wasn’t easy, and isn’t life too short to spend it doing difficult things?

“I can’t do this,” Peach the Panda said out loud.

“That’s right, you can’t. You should never have even bothered. You have too much to do already, and who do you think you are anyway trying to go through the forest? Only people who have taken classes in how to make it through the forest are allowed to try.”

Peach looked around, confused. Who or what had replied to her? Was there another monster somewhere? She didn’t see one, so she thought she must have been the one to reply to herself.

“Great,” she said out loud, again, “this trip through the woods is causing me to loose my mind.”

“As if you had much of one to begin with. And your responsibilities. Get back to those and give up this senseless journey.”

She nodded and stood back up. That wall was there for a reason, obviously. As she was about to place her foot down on the path back to her cave, she heard a cackle. She knew she was more of a giggler than a cackler, so the sound caught her off guard.

She turned around and saw the monster. It was a big, ugly looking monster. And it was wearing a neon pink shirt that proudly proclaimed, “Week 2 Monster.” Peach knew she had been tricked by the monster. She grabbed a spare cup of coffee, threw it at the monster, who was still too caught up in cackling to notice. It bounced right off its head. And the monster looked angry. Fifteen minutes later, Peach the Panda had come out successful and watched as the monster collapsed to the ground.

She took off running, jumped on top of the monster, and vaulted over the wall. She was a little behind, but she was back on her way.

Week 2 can be a nightmare. Really. And it’s something we all have to work through. It’s that period after the novelty of trying to write a novel has worn off, all the introductions are done, and now your characters are doing the thing they were probably supposed to do, but it’s just not turning out like the blockbuster action movie you had imagined.

And I simply don’t have THE PERFECT WORDS TO SAY™ to get you through Week 2 and defeat this monster. But I can tell you what has worked for me in the past.

First, don’t give up writing. Even if it’s just a sentence, a crappy, terrible sentence that will never see the light of day, get a sentence written. Because once you take one day off, it becomes a week off, then a month off and then you’re back for NaNoWriMo 2013 wondering what happened. Get at least a sentence written every day.

Don’t be too wedded to your prior outline. Some of the best writing experiences I’ve had have been when the plot went in an entirely different direction. And that’s ok. I give you permission to have that gaping plot hole and get back to fixing it later. The Week 2 Monster loooooves to call on the Inner Critic Monster for backup.

If you haven’t been to an in person write in before…when you’re feeling the most like a writing failure, in person write ins can be the most helpful. Check out our hyperactive calendar for a write in close to you and pop on in. If they’re all waaaay to far from you, check out our chatroom. Either way, you’ll find understanding, camaraderie, and someone to light a fire under you and challenge you to a word war.

Like I am right now. Sometimes you can’t rely on something to help you vault over the Week 2 wall, you just have to power through it and declare war on your wall. So it’s time for a word war – fifteen minutes. Write as much as you can for the next fifteen minutes and post the results and your week 2 tips and challenges in this thread:

Whether its 5 words or 500 words, every little bit helps break down that Week 2 Wall. And once the Week Two Wall has been broken…it gets quite a bit easier.

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