Skip to main content

Four Tips For Getting Through NaNoWriMo

So you've decided to take the plunge and attempt te impossible, writing fifty thousand words in thirty days.  First of all, hats off to you for taking the chance. NaNoWriMo is a richly rewarding experience that not only tests your mental endurance, but gives you a clearer picture of who you want to be. Many people, myself included, decide to become full-time writers upon completing the milestone.

That being said, good luck. 
Let me debunk one myth for you right now; it's not easy. Not by a longshot. Even if you enter November with your characters fully plotted and your locations mapped out to the last detail, you will still run into roadblocks. You have a job? Spouse? Kids? Congratulations. It may be much harder for you than someone without these obligations.

If you're still reading, you must be serious about this undertaking. When I first did NaNoWriMo back in 2008, I was lucky, I had a full time job on the graveyard shift that let me get a lot of writing done and I lived alone. This year, I'm a husband and stay-at-home dad who supplements the family income via ghostwriting. I will still write fifty thousand words this month.

What I present to you here are my tips for getting through and claiming that certificate at the end of the month.

1). PLAN. Do it now. You can't write a single word in your novel until eleven-one but that does not mean you can't give yourself an edge by knowing exactly what you'll write about. Plan as much as you can between now and the first. It doesn't have to be gold, it doesn't even have to be good. It just has to make sense to you.

Of course, some of us are not so good at planning, which brings me to my next point...

2). WRITE. If you can't plan to save your life, if you have no idea about the specifics of your story, sit down and write recklessly. It still doesn't have to be good, it just has to be coherent. Don't worry about grammar, don't worry about that gaping plot hole you can fit the Death Star in, just sit down and have at it. You'll have plenty of time to revise later (and trust me, you will revise).

3). MAKE TIME. This is especially necessary for those with a lot of obligations. If you want to make it happen, youre going to have to make time for it. Pick a time, every day, where you will sit down and write and then do it. If you stick with it, it'll become routine, and if its routine, it may become easier for you.

4). SET A GOAL. It always helps to have a light at the end of the tunnel. Set a word count goal for your writing time and then go for it. Mine is two thousand words per day, and it takes me between sixty and ninety minutes to get there. If you're doing two thousand words a day, you'll overshoot the word count goal at the end of this month.

Congratulations on taking on the NaNoWriMo Challenge. May you be successful and have a blast. Happy writing.

Comments

Anonymous said…
These are fantastic tips! Especially number 2. Often times we get caught up in making things "right" which adds to the pressure. Writing is a process, so just get the words down and worry about the rest later.

Great post! Thanks!

Popular posts from this blog

America: A True Story About Hatred and Unity

I wanted fast food tonight. That was all. I found myself at Burger King to pick up my wife's order. I was a few cars deep when I spotted the Confederate flag. I surreptitiously snapped a few photos. This was going to be a very different story. When I pull out of Burger King, it turns out there's more than one. In fact, there are four trucks, each flying variations of the flag. I have to go around the front of them to avoid an accident. They're parked right in the middle of the road. As I drive around them, each person in the vehicle makes it a point to ensure I see them. I do. They see me too. When I get to McDonald's (which is in the same lot), I learn that they're not taking debit cards at the moment. Terrific. I wanted chicken nuggets and instead, I get a run-in with the new Confederacy. So I make my way back to Burger King, again appearing in full view of the trucks. I place my order, get it, pay, and pull out. Then one of the

The Long Road Home

I will end you tonight. No, wait. That's not where the story starts. The story starts two and a half years before this, when Michelle (referred to as Michelle for legal reasons because SATAN was too heavily trademarked) reached out to me by Facebook. She mentioned that we played the same Facebook game and she wanted to say hi. I had never, in fact, even heard of the Facebook game. But I was freshly broken out of a relationship and she was pretty with a good body so I said "Hurr, okay." Conversation ensues. She tells me we came up in the same place. We did not come up in the same place. We spent one night in San Francisco talking. But I really wanted to sleep with her. So, "Hurr, okay." Fast forward a few months. I've left Missouri for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I've settled into the ass end of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle. The apartment was so bad that the landlord wrote the mold on the wall off as "crayon coloring

Wave Rocketbook Reviewed

I love writing by hand, and I love notebooks. I'll often devote entire budgets to them and when Officemax has one of their twenty-five cent sales, I'll buy them out. I often draft by hand, finding that the scene comes together more purely when it flows from a pen rather than a keyboard. So when DailyDot advertised a durable new type of notebook that you could use over and over again for the cheap price of twenty-five (thirty after shipping) US Dollars? I'm down. The Wave Rocketbook is meant to be elegant in its design and simple in its execution. The instructions come on the bag itself, and only the pen and notebook are included. The pen feels like any other, so you have to be careful not to mix it into your collection or you will end up marking your notebook with the wrong pen (like I did). The ink is erasable, which is a bonus. A place to put the pen would've been nice, but it clips easily, if not securely, into the ringed binding. The paper is thick and