How to Survive NaNoWriMo
Here are some books to help you write YOUR book!
Ahhh... it's that time of the year already! The leaves are changing, (in some parts of the country) the stores are putting out Halloween (and Thanksgiving, and Christmas...) decorations, and anxious aspiring novelists are counting down the days until November 1st, the start of the NaNoWriMo season!
I have participated both successfully and unsuccessfully in National Novel Writing Month for a few years. For those unfamiliar, the goal is to crank out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It can be done. Here are some tips.
1. Establish a routine.
Seriously, if you're going to do it and not alienate yourself from family, friends, pets, jobs, etc. you need to set some kind of a schedule for yourself. Give yourself time for the basics: eating, sleeping, work, family time, etc. Make sure you get those things done. Then set aside time for yourself to do nothing but write.
2. Don't procrastinate.
This isn't college. You're not writing a research paper or an essay. It's not an assignment. You don't have to do this. If you signed up for NaNoWriMo, it's because you wanted to. So, obviously, you enjoy writing or want to be a writer. Don't look at this as a chore or a job or something that can be put off until later. If you signed up to do this, then do it. You only have 30 days, so get crackin'!
3. Burn the midnight oil.
Things happen. Work or school gets in the way. You've got a life besides writing. So you may find that you're not as close to your 50,000 word goal as you'd like to be. Be prepared to stay up a little later (or get up a little earlier?!) and write 'til your fingers bleed. Your novel's not going to write itself.
4. Remember: This is about words , not numbers .
Yes, the purpose of NaNo is to get aspiring writers motivated to write/finish a 50,000 word novel. That does not mean that you write for half an hour and then check your word count. Just let it flow. Concentrate on making the words you're writing meaningful and don't worry about constantly counting how many are getting on the page. You want to end up with a good novel, not just 50,000 words of crap.
5. There's always next year!
It's November 30th and you didn't do it. You failure.
Just kidding! So you didn't reach your goal? That doesn't mean that you can't still finish your novel. Keep writing, even if it takes you another 30 days (or another year... or... whatever!) to finish it. Think of how satisfied you'll feel when you know that you've finally finished a project that you can be proud of!
And in 335 days, you can try it all over again!
Best of luck to you!
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