NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, happens in November and is when people commit to writing 1,667 words a day with the end goal being that they have written 50,000 words by the end of the month. It is a block of time where people try their hardest to get a novel written with many succeeding and many not succeeding. I completed my first NaNo last year and did it successfully, which was a huge yay moment for me. So here are my tips to get through NaNo as successfully as you can.
- Sign up as early as possible. This way NaNo HQ will send you emails full of hints and tips to prepare for November. They’ve been doing it for a long time, they know their stuff.
- Be realistic. Know yourself and how much you can write in a day. If you currently write nothing, don’t expect to suddenly be able to write over 1,000 words everyday for 30 days, it ain’t going to happen. Set a goal that is reasonable for you and get it done. The habit of writing everyday that NaNo gives you is far more valuable than the actual word count.
- Don’t stress. If you miss a day or don’t hit your word count for that day, don’t worry about it. Easy to say not so easy to do. Still, if it happens, try not to stress. All stressing does is make it harder to get the words out (unless you are one of those weird and wonderful people who thrive under pressure, in that case go ahead).
- Start writing ahead of time. If you have the time and really want to hit that 50,000 word target, start writing before November. It will ease the pressure slightly, even if it isn’t completely what NaNo is about.
- Block out time. Like anything important, set aside a certain time of the day to get your writing done. I like to do it first thing in the morning before anyone else is up. Other people like to do it late at night. Find what suits you best and block it out.
- Tell people. Let those closest to you know what you are doing, odds are that they will support you. This can take the form of bringing you drinks and snacks or doing your housework. It all helps.
- Take breaks. Don’t stay tied to the computer, it will stunt your creativity and that doesn’t help you reach your goal. Taking a break reinvigorates you, so take them.
- Connect with others. Either through the NaNo site or social media, talking to others doing NaNo helps you to get perspective and they also are awesome at offering support and helping when you are stuck with your novel. They are there for you.
Ultimately NaNo can be stressful but it can be an awesome sense of accomplishment, whether you hit the 50,000 goal and win or not. Remember, it’s for 30 days, not life and however many words you get written, you didn’t have them down before and that’s the real win.