Top 12 Tips for NaNoWrimo

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.”
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month
Nanowrimo season is almost upon us! Some people have outlines ready, some have a general idea of what they want to write. Others, like me, have no clue what we are writing about this year! There are also those who are freaking out a little as the enormity of the challenge sets in. Never fear… I have a few tips to make this much more fun than you may be thinking.
 
 

  1. Tell everyone what you’re up to 
    Your going to want to make sure everyone knows your going into hermit mode in November. Barter for child care during writing blocks. Try to get a weekend to yourself. Most of all, make sure all family and friends know when you need to be writing so they can leave you in peace.
  2. Write every day (especially in November!) 
    You should always be trying to keep a writing schedule, though it may not be every day. However, in November, you should be writing every day regardless. You’re trying to hit 50,000 words at least! Even a couple of hundred on a rough day helps. Also, try to get ahead during the first few days while you’re still super excited. Then you’ll have a buffer for those super rough days. ‘Cuz life happens, ya know.
  3. NO EDITING 
    I know this one is hard. However, editing kills your word count. We are just trying to get the first draft down. Editing is for the months following! If you must correct the auto-correct wavy lines, then do that. But NO MORE! 
  4. Pick your filler words, and make  list if needed 
    You are likely wondering what are filler words. I cannot remember where I picked this up, but it’s a word you use every time you can’t think of the word you are looking for. Or for things you need more research on.Pick unusual words that won’t be in your manuscript for any other reason. Then you go back during editing and search for those words. At each instance of the word, you edit that word with whatever you didn’t know or couldn’t remember at the time you were writing! Pretty easy and keeps the writing flow going.
  5. community-150125_1280Find your NaNo tribe. 
    Find writers who are also doing NaNoWriMo. Find buddies via the forums. Check out Facebook for groups. Go join Wrimoverse. Follow hashtags on Twitter then follow some of the people you find. Start a conversation with people you add by any of these methods. Find the ones who will be a good support system for you! (HINT: WriMos are pretty helpful!) Doing this alone just isn’t as much fun and is harder than it needs to be.
  6. Pick a rewards system 
    Celebrating milestones is what helps most of us keep going, especially in writing. So decide ASAP how you are going to reward yourself and at what points. Some like special eats. Some give themselves social media time. You could have a special dinner planned for big milestones (10k words, 20K words, 50K words).
  7. Pack your survival kit.
    Make sure you have plenty of easy to make or premade healthy meals. Plenty of snacks are also advised. Plus coffee, tea, sodas, and water. You’ll also want a plan for backing up your writing (every day, at least!) and for if things go wrong. There’s a lot more you can pack. Check out this forum post for ideas.
  8. Know Thyself
    You have to know a few basic things about yourself. When can you schedule writing time? Can you find extra chunks of time that are maybe small but might get you a few hundred more words? When do you write best–morning, late night, something else? Who’s your support team? Knowing things like this will make the event so much smoother.
  9. Relax daily
    Make sure you keep time to relax a little every day. Otherwise, you will burn out. You’ll come to resent your story and more. You can read, watch a movie or a little TV. Do a hobby. Sleep! Whatever helps you unwind. Keep doing that a few times a day, you’ll thank yourself for it.
  10. Try to do some basic planning
    Even if your not a full on, outline the story down to the scene type of writer. I know. It sucks. Plan at least a Main Character, the beginning and end of your story. More if you can, but you’ll be thankful to know where your starting and what you’re trying to get to!
  11. HAVE FUN
    This is the most important of all 11! This should be (mostly) fun. If it’s not, the NaNoWriMo is not for you most likely. You can still write, but something about this event stifles you. Also, try being a rebel if going the prescribed way isn’t working. But enjoy the journey and the friends you make above all else<3

 

What tips do YOU have for NaNoWriMo? How about writing in general? Comment and let us know!

<3 JM
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