How to keep going when you don’t want to?

All this week, I have been down with what had started as a cold and now is bronchitis. It sucks.

But. I don’t get sick days. I have to produce every single day, or I won’t get things finished. There’s no one else to do this work for me. There is only me.

How to do it? How to keep going?

Motivation doesn’t do it. If I was only motivated, this post wouldn’t be getting written. I would go back to bed and not worry about it.

Motivation only lasts so long and will fold when confronted with real obstruction. Motivation is like eating pasta; it only lasts so long.


Discipline will carry you forward through the hard times when the only option motivation tells you is that it’s okay to take a day off.

Discipline is like eating a hearty, filling meal with meat, vegetables and carbs. It is where someone feels full hours later and doesn’t want seconds or thirds.

Being Sick. Or what to do when you don’t feel like it.

When sick, many smart people tell me that it is okay to take a sick day. It is suitable for mental health, physical health and all of that. You will remember that a month ago, I had burnt out.

For me, I have a minimum daily word goal. For 2019, that number is 150 words. (That number will be increased for 2020 and will be discussed in another post.) No matter how I am feeling on any particular day, I will get at least that much. This won’t allow me to make my monthly or yearly goal, but it gives me the chance to recharge.

Which is also why I count my goal monthly. This gives me a day (or week) to freak out and write to make the yearly goal.

I do this for two reasons.


I have yet to take a day off since the last week of December 2018. I don’t want to lose the streak. Some days, it is the sole reason I turn on the computer and hammer on the keyboard.


I have this fear: despite almost a full year of writing every day, that if I let a day go, then I will come up with an excuse for tomorrow. Then the next day, and the next.

I did this before. I have been successful for NaNoWriMo before, and I have never capitalized on the momentum. I have always taken a break, which turned into a leave of absence.

What does this mean for me?

Despite being sick and wanting to go to bed, and as soon as I hit the publish button, I will be looking at the story and will be writing. There will be some honey tea, some pain killers, and some butt in my chair.

What does this mean for you?

Call this “a push.” If there is something, you want to get done. Whether it is writing, getting in shape, drawing, working on small business, or whatever it is. Stop making excuses. They are all bullocks. Set a minimum daily goal, and preferred goal. If life gets in your way, and you can’t make the preferred, then get your minimum goal. Make up for it another day.

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The End of NaNoWriMo.

It is now December first, and NaNoWriMo is now done for the year. This means that the stress of the writing challenge is over, and people’s lives go back to normal.

This is true for them as well as for me. Except for my version of “normal” is perverted in comparison.

However, it shouldn’t be that way.

NaNo is supposed to be a starting point or a continuation point of the writing journey. It is supposed to allow a writer to get a large number of words done or something completed.

A large number of people that use NaNo don’t write in any other part of the year. For clarity, this is what my year has looked like so far.

Annotation 2019-12-01 1255442

Yes, I have a spreadsheet.

Don’t have to be crazy… Like me.

I’m unique, even in the writing world. Most people don’t set crazy goals like I did, and most people don’t manage to get as far as I have with it.

And that’s fine. This crazy goal has worked for me.

But to be a writer, one must write. It doesn’t have to be a half a million words in a year, but it should be something. What I tell people is that they should write for 8 minutes. If it doesn’t flow cause of stress, etc., then at least they have something. Even if it is 100 words. BUT, if it is flowing, then they shouldn’t stop.

NaNo Writers

These guys only write during November, and some of them get 75k or 100k words done, but it isn’t a sprinting race. It’s an endurance race. So while I only managed to write 63k this November, it is only a fraction of what I managed to get done all year.

Future NaNo’s

Before I talk about my future NaNo plans, here is my writing plan for next year.

Annotation 2019-12-01 12554423

That is a preview of my 2020 goal. The number at the bottom should be interesting.

But, in terms of what NaNo means for me, take a look at the numbers listed beside each month. I will be writing a NaNo every month.

This means that was the last NaNo I’ll be participating in. There is no point anymore for me. It was fun while it lasted, but I also see no point in trying to kill myself by writing a double NaNo. Not with my writing output being what it is at.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Its NaNoWriMo and I wrote how much?

On November 21, 2019, I was successful at NaNoWriMo. That means that I had managed to write 50k words in a month. But it wasn’t a month. It was for 21 days.

I didn’t manage to write enough words to do the double NaNo. I am on track to be able to get a 1.5 NaNo. (Yes, I have made NaNoWriMo into a unit of measurements.)

But what does that mean? That means that I have worked hard to get this done, but so far, it is not much of an achievement. For me. I write between 35k and 46k words per month, which I plan on increasing in the future.

That means that this might be the last time I do a NaNo. I may hang up my hat and call it good. Perhaps it is time for me to retire from doing NaNo’s.

The purpose of NaNo is to encourage those who struggle to write anything. It is not for those crazy fools who have written 475k words this year so far.

But NaNo is flawed in some ways. It encourages those to write words, but not to finish the story. It has also created a herd of novelists who only write for NaNo. They don’t write at any other time. When you ask why they have some excuse.

Don’t get me wrong, many people have decided to become writers after completing a NaNo. After, they started writing a novel afterward.

So this message is for all of the NaNo writers out there. If you enjoy writing novels, then write every day, every week and every month. Don’t just write in November, write all the time and write lots. Write hard, and write like no one is watching, but just write.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Day Late and Dollar Short

Story of my life.

But all joking aside, what I’m not short on is that I’m managing to keep up with my NaNo goals. Not the double NaNo I talked about, but I’m on progress to be able to keep up with the one and a half NaNo.

I have three main complaints at the moment. One, the NaNoWriMo site has been changed. It looks good, but its features have been nerfed. I enjoyed being able to change my daily writing when I miss the midnight deadline for the day. So for me, it looks like I write in sprints with gaps between large dumps of words. That’s not the case. I have been writing approx 2500 words a day.

Two. I still have other things to do, and I can’t write 10k words a day. My current project has me excited, and I want to keep finding out what is going on with the characters. I feel sorry for the two leads, and I hate myself for throwing them through this mess. I love it.

Three. This is not any story in my schedule. I have discovered that I didn’t write down any notes on my Felix story. Both book one and book two. As such, I have no idea what is going on. I know a bit about what is going on, but the problem is that I’m trying to wrap up the trilogy, and I have a tonne of plot threads to tie up or to hang a hat on. (I do want to write another trilogy with Felix and his Ghosts.)

What I’m doing right now is I have been taking the tiny flash fiction style short stories my classes have been forcing me to write and expanding them. So far, so good. Except the problem is that none of them are on the plan.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavors, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

First Week of NaNo.

As you may be aware, I’m attempting this year’s NaNo. But in my household, I’m not alone.

There is a youth program for NaNo. Where kids can pick there own goals to write their own novels. It teaches them the ability to work on a longer project. Its something many adults have an issue with as writing a book isn’t a sprint, it’s an endurance race.

My daughter, age seven, is going to write a 1000-word story about her favourite pokemon. My son, age nine, is witing a 5000-word science fiction short story about Zero-G dodgeball.

This is impressive for age. I’m proud they have started this project, and it didn’t take any coaching from myself. My son wanted to write a 50k word novel. I told him to begin with 5k this year and then increase it for the next. He is nine, after all.

For me, I’m not attempting the 100k. That goal evaporated. I’m trying to do 75k. This would be a 1.5 NaNo and double what I usually do each month. So far, I have managed to make my 2500 daily word goal.

Wish me luck? The month has only started.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

NaNoWriMo and Prep for Pantsers

So you are prepping for NaNo and you are a discovery writer (some call pantser), and you are wondering how you can prep a novel. Cause prepping is for outliners right? Stephen King doesn’t do much prep, why should you?

Those are some excellent questions.

For my writing, I do a type of discovery writing where I plan plot points or what I like to call beat points. These are cool scenes or important points I want to get across during the course of a novel. It might be a fight scene or an emotional point in the story.

I usually will write these down and sort them into some type of order. Sometimes I plan to write multiple interlocking stories all weaved together. These I may do per point of view character in a large chunk, then shuffle them together later once they are all done.

As a discovery writer, the main way to be successful in NaNo for most people is the prep. Create your cast of characters, even if you’re unsure of you are going to use them or not. Create a setting. People need places to sit and eat. Write about those places.

If you have an antagonist you are unsure about, write a short clip of him. You can also do the back story of your main character as well. Especially if you need to understand her. With my stories, sometimes its important to write a one thousand word short about there childhood. It doesn’t go into the novel, however, but knowing what the character went through is important.

Being only October 20th, with time still, there is time to plan and to prep. There might not be time later. Use the time wisely.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.


Suppose for a second, I have convinced you to write a novel for NaNoWriMo. For those tuning in, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge where you write 50 thousand words in thirty days.

The rules of NaNoWriMo, states that it counts the story only. Outlines, character sheets, diagrams. They don’t count for your total word count. This is also able to be done before November, in October.

No matter if you Outline or Discovery Write, the way to be successful in writing for NaNo is in the prep. Preparing to write the story is how many people keep the quantity up for the length of time.

The Prep

I start my story with my idea. Having a set idea pushes you forward. The idea should be thought thoroughly through with different ideas on different conflicts, tensions, and emotions. The more the idea is flushed out, allows for a better shot of being successful for NaNo.

For me, what I do is I have my novel planned. I’m not a “Discovery Writer” and not an “Outliner.” I do what I have dubbed “Sign-Post-Outlining.” I discovery write to set points in the story. This allows me to have a plan, yet being able to have the freedom to see where the story takes me.

The way to NaNo success is the prep. Plan your story. Plan until you think you can’t plan any longer. The more you do, the more of a chance of success.

So for all of those who want to write a novel for NaNoWriMo. Prep your story. Plan it through.

If you like what you are reading and wish to support me in my endeavours, please sign up for my newsletter, visit my Amazon Author Page and purchase one of my books. Or buy me a coffee. Your help and support are much appreciated.

Well that was fun…

Well. November is almost done. It is currently November 29th, 2017. And I have failed at my goal.

My goal, if you remember, was to write 100k words. I am currently at 60K words. I have completed the first draft of my daughter’s story, “The adventures of Evana Sweetland.” I have also completed the first draft of the second, and third books of my son’s story, “Space Courier.”

There have been some casualties though. I wanted to write books four and five of my son’s story. I managed to split book four and move it into the books three and five. Then book five became book four. I think that I already wrote about that. It is not new.

I didn’t however, get through book four. I made a wrong turn at some point. It happens. Luckily, I have so much to do, that I can put it aside and work on something else.

That is why I have thrown in the towel, short on words. And it is okay. I did get three out of four titles completed. That is a good thing.

Well, Okay. I am not a failure. That was my attempt at a bad joke.

The goal for November was to write 50k words in thirty days. I wrote 60k words. That is a win in most books. So I guess that I will count that it was a win in mine. I just wish that I had managed to get that last title done.

But that is all good. I still have a lot of work that I need to get published. And I am proceeding with that. I still have my self-imposed deadline of Jan 2018 for the first title. And that depends on many things on what story I throw into the fire first.

Next week, I will start a series of blog posts on a topic. I don’t think that it will be about writing. Maybe it will be about my kids. Or living in Nanaimo over the cold of Prince George. Maybe I’ll start posting chapters of my book. I am not sure.

Until next time.

NaNoWriMo: Update Nov 19, 2017

Well. As of this moment, I am now at 51108 words for NaNoWriMo. But as I have said before, NaNo is worthless to me unless I can get complete projects done.

At the moment I have complete my daughters story, ‘The Adventures of Evana Sweetland.’ And I have finished Book 3 of my sons ‘Space Courier’ story. But my son’s story isn’t finished. It still needs the last book.

Originally we planned to write the story in 5 parts. But as I wrote Book 3, I realized that I had included pieces that I was planning on for book 4. So now, I have gotten rid of book 4, put the parts into either book 3 or book 5 and then called book 5, book 4. Basically, Space Courier is going to be four books.

And I am not done NaNoWriMo. I have ten days to write 22500 to 25000 words for this next book. That means that I must write 2250 to 2500 words per day to complete the book on time. The goal is to have a complete work that I can spend December editing and reworking so that I can have it start being published come January 2018.

So, while others are hanging up there hats and calling it done, I am still plugging away. I am not done yet. Not even close.

NaNo Update Nov 11, 2017

So this year has gone off with a bang.

First I’d like to apologize for the lack of blog posts. I have been distracted by NaNo. It happens. For the first bit, I was writing 3k to 4k words a day. I was on track with my double NaNo goals. Then life happens.

And it happens. One day you are going strong, then the next you have fallen behind. All you can do is to try and catch up when you can. We had ordered some Ikea beds for the kids, and it took 3 hours to build them. Each.

Plus I had to go through my storage bin and find some boxes. It’s all delays. Ie. Life.

And it happens. It is not a bad thing. Cause life does that. No need to get anxious or frustrated by it. And if it weren’t NaNo, there would be no need to try and catch up. It is best not to. It is best not to be stressed by something that is outside of your control. It happens.

My NaNo, it is Nov 11, 2017, and I am at 28k words. I am supposed to be at 36k words by today. But that is only cause I am crazy and I am doing a double NaNo. Typically, I would have to have written 18K words.

So, that means I am a touch behind, but still going strong. I have also finished the first draft of the Evana Story. It is done. Time to move on to Book 3 of my Space Courier story.

Wish me luck.

Until next time.