NaNoWriMo Day 5! HUZZAH! How are you all doing? Have you made sure to enter the 5-page critique giveaway from me and Sarah J. Maas? If not, be sure to enter below. 🙂

Also, if you’re available at 4:00 PM Eastern Time today, Sarah J. Maas and I will be fighting a heated battle of words–a writing sprint to the DEATH! Okay, so I exaggerate. They’re just fun Twitter-hosted writing sprints for 30 minutes each. Stop by if you can!

Oh, and don’t forget our Pinterest NaNo board with Beth Revis, Jessica Spotswood, Erin Bowman, and Jessica Khoury!

Now, onto my Week 2 motivator: keeping a writing journal.

This is one of those strange things I NEVER would’ve seen myself doing. Let’s be honest: it seems like such a waste of time… Writing about writing?

But then I started doing it one day–not with any premeditation in mind but because I had all these feelings (bad ones, mostly) about my writing and I just had to get them out. This was during the throes of my novella, when self-doubt and fear were rampant…but since then, I’ve continued doing it EVERY day.

Yep, that’s right. I write about my writing.

Weird, huh? Doesn’t it sound redundant? Like, why waste time writing about writing when I could be WRITING-WRITING? But like I said, I just started one day and haven’t stopped. My friend, the lovely Vanessa DiGregorio sent me a Star Wars Moleskine and pen. The pages of the Moleskine were just BEGGING to be written on, so I uncapped the new pen and just started pouring out my heart.

This is what I said:

I don’t write always write that much. In fact, I usually don’t. Just a paragraph or two over the course of the day is my typical fare, and kind of like that NaNo word count widget on the side there, updating the journal really motivates me. I want to be able to write down, “I wrote three scenes today and reached the midpoint.”

But more often than not, I use the journal to work through my sticking points. Oftentimes, there’s a TON of swearing and me raging about how much I suck. And as I sit there getting annoyed with my Muse for not cooperating or annoyed with my motivation for being nonexistent, a strange thing will happen.

I’ll feel better.

Maybe I’ll have an aha! moment. Aha! I’m stuck because I don’t need to even write this scene! I should be skipping ahead to the next one!

Maybe I’ll just realize beating myself up is useless. Wow, I still wrote four scenes yesterday and at least I drew a map of the city–that needed to happen at some point. I guess the morning wasn’t a total waste.

Or maybe I’ll just feel really freaking good. I did it! I reached 200 pages! BOOYAH, NOVEL. I am the freakin’ king (er, queen) of the world right now!

No matter what I write, it’s nice to unload how I feel about my writing. It’s also a GREAT reminder for the low days–I can skim back and see how I was just as low during October, and if I conquered those self-doubts, I can do it again. 🙂

You tell me: How do you unload your writing woes or highs? Do you keep any sort of journal–writing or otherwise?

(And, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter the NaNo giveaway from Sarah J. Maas and I!)

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