It’s that time again! NaNoWriMo time! You all know how much I adore National Novel Writing Month. Heck, I set up a forum/bootcamp specifically for NaNoWriMo camaraderie, so when I talk about NaNo, you all KNOW I’m Super Serious.
To get you all ready and excited, I wanted to share tips and info on what NaNoWriMo is and how to reach the end.
When you sing, you begin with do-re-mi… Wait, wrong song. When you WRITE, you begin with Na-No-Wri-Mo… 😉
- To “win” NaNoWriMo, you must type 50,000 words by the end of November. This isn’t a full book (unless it’s a book for young readers), but boy is 50K a darn good start.
- If you can type at least 1,667 words per day, you’ll reach 50,000 by the end of November. That means writing everyday–including weekends. You could, of course, write 12,000 one day and the none for the rest of the week. How you hammer out your words is entirely up to you.
- If you haven’t yet, make sure you’ve registered on NaNoWriMo, and while you’re there, pick up the official “flair” for 2013 along with a word count widget for your blog.
- Get familiar with your NaNo dashboard, which you reach via: http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/[username].
- If you can, please donate to the nice people who keep this running every year. You get a halo over your picture (like this!) if you give money!!
- Be sure to check out the forums, where you can meet other writers. Or become a NaNo Cadet in my personal bootcamp. The more the merrier!
- If you can, daily routines are very helpful for powering through NaNoWriMo. Notify your family, friends, and coworkers now. Tell them you need uninterrupted time during your lunch break/after dinner/before school/etc. It helps if you inform people of your NaNo goals so they don’t get grumpy when you ignore them. 😉
- Having a solid idea of what you’re going to write when you sit down November 1 helps keep your word count high and writing focused. If you outline, then you’re already golden for this. But, if you’re a panster, then using this headlight method–planning just as far ahead as the “headlights” reach–can be amazingly helpful. I recently did an entire series about my approach to planning a book. Check it out here.
- For some people, a playlist can really 1) help get you in the mood to write, 2) help you imagine the scene you’re about to write, and 3) continue to stay “in” the scene as you type away. Plus, it can be great for blocking out outside distractions. Here are some Pub(lishing) Crawl posts about music:
- If you can, find a good location in which to write. This is an intentionally vague suggestion because MY good location isn’t going to be the same as YOUR good location. Be it a coffee shop, your bed, or your best friend’s couch, if you can try to find time working at the best place for your creativity, you’ll really see your word count skyrocket.
- Find the writing tools that work best for you. Here are some posts about various tools of the trade from Pub(lishing) Crawl:
- Avoid distraction (and probably the internet) when you draft! If you know what your distraction-weaknesses are (for me it’s Twitter and Pinterest), then do whatever you can to make those distractions impossible to get to. I usually unplug my router.
- Take care of your body. Eat well, sleep well, and DON’T DRINK ENERGY DRINKS. Not only will they make you pee uncontrollably (I am not even making this up), but they just aren’t good for your creative mind. You want to reach the end of November alive, right?
- The stats tab on your dashboard is going to be your best friend. It has a useful graph to show your daily progress related to the recommended 1,667 daily word count. Seriously, it’s SO satisfying to log into your account, update your progress, and watch the bar graph climb.
- If you need a little nudge or want a brief break from the keyboard, head to the Pinterest board that I set up last year for NaNoWriMo. I’ll be pinning more motivational quotes and the occasional motivating hot guy this year!
- A lot of people will meet up with other NaNo-ers in their region. You can hang out at coffee shops or libraries or whatever, but it’s great knowing all these other people are in the exact same boat as you. For some people, it really gets the creative mojo going.
- If you can’t meet with people in person (or don’t want to), then writing sprints online are a great tool! You can join in a #BAMFWordBattle, start your own #BAMFWordBattle, drop by this forum, or just reach out to other NaNo-ers on twitter. Then, set a timer for some specific interval (I usually do 30 min) and write-write-write as fast as you can! Meet back after your time is up to see who “won”.
WRITING CRAFT TIPS:
- Pub(lishing) Crawl has a ton of resources on craft, and if you don’t find the topic you want here, try out our old site, Let the Words Flow.
- I also have an entire line-up of resources on my personal blog.
- Janice Hardy, author of The Healing Wars trilogy, has a great blog where she delves into all SORTS of writing-related topics.
- Brandon Sanderson, famed author of the Mistborn series, teaches a college course on writing and he offers all those lecture for free online!
- I did a post on my personal blog Friday sharing all of my favorite writing books. Check your local library to see if they have any!
- Got a specific, burning question? Then swing by the bootcamp. We have >100 people registered so far, and I bet there’s someone out there who can help or point you in the right direction.
And there you have it, my dears. Please share your own tips and advice if you’ve got any!! Now, let’s get ready to NANO IT UP!!