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Thursday, November 14, 2013

5 Tips to Survive NANOWRIMO

November is that magical month of NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month, so I figured I'd give my 5 tips for surviving NANO.

1.) Take it one word, one day at a time. 
Don't be hard on yourself. Some days you'll speed through and go over your word count for the day and other days you'll fight yourself to get even one word down. Don't be hard on yourself.

2.) Get together with others doing NANOWRIMO.
No one will understand what you're trying to do as much as other participants. This year there is Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, the NANOWRIMO website with the forums and chats, and write-ins. There is someway to socialize, get help when you're stuck or just encouragement to keep going for anyone.

3.) Be accountable.
Join a group, create a group or find some close friends that you can each send in your word counts for the day. It's great to have someone to encourage or embarrass you into getting your word counts in for the month. Groups are also good for brainstorming when you get stuck and laugh about the rest of the world outside of your little writing hole.

4.) Have caffeine.
I don't drink coffee, can't stand the taste, but yes I do need caffeine. I make sure that in November I won't run out because you never know when you're going to have one of those days that your mind just won't work without it.

5.) Tell family, friends, and work you're not available.
This is the most important I think. A lot of people outside of writers just don't understand why we would want to torture ourselves by spending 30 days using all our free time writing. This is what we do, what we want to do. You have to make it clear with family, friends, and yes even work that you can't be disturbed during whatever hours your writing.

Do you have any tips that I can add in? Tips could just be for your writing.

3 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks, Mae. I second your first tip - Don't Be Hard On Yourself! I don't know anyone who writes much or writes quality work when they are kicking themselves in the rear with negative self-talk "this stinks" "this is dumb" "why did I ever think I could do this" "I'll never get my word count in today", etc.

While it is important to set those boundaries and schedule that time to write, keeping a positive mindset is critical to moving forward.

My writing tips? I use red in bold when there is something I know I need to check out - a quick note to myself (Check Out ???) and I highlight in green the areas I know I'm not happy with (I use green because to me that signifies moving forward but use a color that you like). What's is first and foremost is to keep writing - with these visuals I can easily spot them after the first draft or on December 1 if I want to take care of them sooner.

Happy NaNo! And now back to our story---in progress.

Paty Jager said...

Fun tips, but I'm conceding. I can't do NaNo with two releases out this month. The promotion is taking up too much time.

maepen said...

I like your tip Judith! I never thought of that doing something like that. It must make editing a little easier.

New releases definitely take precedence over new work. Good luck Paty.