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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.


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!

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