In a few days, it will be National Novel Writing Month, also known as NanoWriMo. If you’re not familiar with it, basically NanoWriMo is a month of insane novel writing. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the span of 30 days. It’s crazy, yeah I know. I’ve honestly only managed to complete it once in my life. The closest I’ve ever truly gotten was to 30,000 otherwise.
This year, I do plan to participate simply for fun. I have not written fiction in years, so I am using this as a chance to actually write a novel and get back into it. I will reveal what I end up writing in an upcoming blog post.
That being said, many of us are interested in doing NanoWriMo, whether it’s because you finally want to write that novel you’ve been putting off for years, or because you want to try something different. That being said, here are some tips to help you reach success:
I am the worst at this, but prepare an outline for your novel in the days leading up to writing. That way, you have an idea of where the story is intended to go, and what happens when. It’s a great way to lead yourself on the path of success, because all you have to do is write the story.
Don’t Edit. Just Write:
Part of writing a novel is simply the fear that it has to be perfect on the first try. But, let me ask you this: when was the last time that we got everything right on the first go around? That said, just write the novel. You can always go back to editing it at a later date.
Make Time Each Day to Write:
Whether it’s while you’re drinking your morning coffee or right before bed, write daily. The NanoWriMo website has little word markers that help you stay on track, however, I don’t think those should be taken as seriously. Some days you’re going to want to write 1,000 words, while others you might write 3,000. Honestly, any writing in my opinion is better than no writing.
Try to use weekends to catch up on your writing if you’re not busy with other plans. Even an hour of writing is so much better than nothing.
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself:
I want to be honest here. I am never completely diligent with NanoWriMo. Also, life sometimes happens. During college, I would always be way too busy to even make it past 10,000 words. For me, I just do the best I can and go from there.
Do Word Sprints:
I follow the NanoWriMo word sprints, and they are amazing to help get your word goal up. A word sprint is basically when you write as much as you can during a certain amount of time. I’ve gotten anywhere between 300 to almost a thousand words done during that time, and I highly credit doing them as why I managed to complete NanoWriMo in 2015. Even if you’re able to do a few a day, it definitely helps bulk up your word count.
Okay, so it’s counterintuitive to stop writing when trying to cram so many words into one month, am I right? However, I think it’s important to get up, enjoy the fresh air, and stretch as well. Make sure you eat meals. Make sure you enjoy Thanksgiving, whatever that may mean for you this year. Just as it’s important to write a novel, it’s important to take breaks as well.
Create A Playlist:
Anyone notice how much more you get done whenever you listen to music? Create a writing playlist of songs to get you inspired. And, play it everytime that you sit to write. Trust me, it helps a lot.
So have you participated in NanoWriMo before? If so, what are your tips for success?