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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Novel in a Month? Tips For a Successful NaNoWriMo.

nanowrimo how to

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? 

"National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel." 

Anyone who has ever thought fleetingly about writing a novel. Does that sound like you? If so, November is the perfect month to get started!

NaNoWriMo is great because it gives you a set goal to complete in a set amount of time. It helps you avoid burnout because you have an exact deadline for when writing like a crazy person will end. It's incredibly challenging, inspiring, and overall an experience that every writer should have at least once.

If you're thinking about joining in this year, here are some tips that I've found to be helpful.

nanowrimo advice

Just because the technical goal of NaNoWriMo is 50,000, that doesn't mean you have to either do all that or nothing at all.

The point is to make yourself write way more than you normally do, no matter what that looks like. You can only write 5,000 words and still have an extremely successful NaNoWriMo. You have no idea what good ideas may come out of those words!

nanowrimo advice

Some people decide to write 50,000 words by the end of November and just go with it. That's fantastic, but if I did that, I would land on November 29th with 39,000 words to write.

Decide on a schedule based on your goal. Do you want to write for a set amount of time each day? Or do you want to write a certain amount of words per day?

My goal is the big 50,000 this year. That translates to roughly 1,666 words per day. However, I know that I probably won't be able to write on most Saturdays, and there are five of those in November. So that brings my goal up to 2,000 words a day.

Look at your lifestyle and schedule, and then make a writing schedule. Be realistic, but also push yourself. It will be incredibly hard, but that's part of the fun.

nanowrimo advice

Do not try to hit all 1,666 (or less, or more) words all at once. Yes, there will be days when you can sit down and pound out far more than your goal, and those days are magical. But on the not-so-magical days, trying to hit your goal all at once will make you want to cry forever.

So break it up! Have two daily goals instead of one. If your goal is 1,000 words, then have two goals of 500 words. Taking a break in between finishing the first goal and starting the second will give you a chance to reboot your creativity. Plus, being able to cross one of those off when you're halfway there feels awesome.

nanowrimo advice

It would be really freaking fantastic for everyone to have a writing partner that lives in the same town as them. Then you could spend days together in a coffee shop, writing the next great American novel and keeping each other from burning out. But this is real life, and that's not always an option.

Still, tell someone. Get an email partner. Blog about it. Just make sure someone other than you knows that you're being a psychotic person and trying to write a novel in 30 days. Sometimes all it takes to keep writing is knowing that someone is going to ask how your book is coming, and wanting to be able to be proud of your answer.

So, are you in?!

Have you ever done NaNoWriMo before? Are you planning on doing it this year?

31 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fun challenge! I've been wanting to write a book, maybe this is the perfect time to start!

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  2. I tried and failed last year, but I'm going to try again!

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  3. I have not done NaNoWriMo before but it sounds intriguing!

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  4. I have always wanted to do this, but between work, family, hobbies, and my blog I don't think I'd have time.

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  5. Awesome!!! I thought about it last year but I was too far along in my novel to really participate and this year I'm done with said novel but all I can think about is finishing up on the editing!! Maybe next year. Best of luck to you!!

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  6. This is great! I have Scrivener for writing and I set goals by word count, it really helps me stay focused and KEEP WRITING. Maybe I'll finish my half finished novel now...

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  7. Love, love, love this post! I have a document I started for this last year, but never made it very far in- I really haven't given it much thought again, and can't believe it's already nearly November, but this post might have inspired me a little bit :)

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  8. I heard about NaNoWriMo a couple years ago at a book signing and have wanted to try it ever since! I just never got up the gumption to do so. I really want to participate this year but I am not really sure where to start. I agree that having a friend or online buddy would be very helpful!

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  9. This is an interesting challenge. It would take me 30 days to even figure out what theme I would want to write!

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  10. You've inspired me, I'm doing it! If not now...when? (:

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  11. Every year I say I'm going to do this and then I don't. THIS IS THE YEAR. Thank you for the encouragement. P.S. This is me telling someone :)

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  12. i haven't done one ever but maybe i should this time, you gave some really gave tips to help anyone succeed!!

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  13. I've never done it, but have had so many friends do it over the last several years. I'm trying to get a few things in order to see if I can fit this in this year! Thanks for the tip!

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  14. I love this so much! I was actually just messing around on the Nanowrimo when I should be reading for class. THIS YEAR WILL BE MINE! Great tips for knocking it out of the park. Are you giving it a go this year? I used to do this in college but it's been years so I'm geared for a new run at it.

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  15. Every year November slides in and I'm unprepared for NaNoWriMo, but NOT THIS YEAR. This year I'm actually mentally preparing and I'm going to go for it!

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  16. I love creative writing, and these tips were spot on! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Love from Texas,
    Kate

    http://www.alonestarstateofsouthern.com

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  17. I love doing this challenge, it has been awhile but I am excited to be joining in this year! These tips are so useful :)

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  18. I've done NaNo several times. I really enjoyed it, but I think I'm done with it. I got what I needed from the experience, and even made some real life friends in the process.

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  19. I've been thinking about doing it... I just have no idea what I want to write! Is that bad?

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  20. Omgosh this sounds so fun and intimidating! Is this how you wrote your book, Chels?!

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  21. noooooo!!! please tell me it's not almost november already. i feel like every time nanowrimo comes around i tell myself i should do it the following year.. and now here i am again totally not prepared. looking forward to your novel! :)

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  22. I've never done it before, but I love the idea of being part of a bigger movement where everyone is working towards a similar goal! It's a great way to stay accountable!

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  23. This is great! I am working on writing a bit more, and I've picked up the pace on a little novel I left behind. This will give me more motivation to get it done!
    xo Southern Style

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  24. Once I graduate, I think I'll try this:) Such a cool idea!

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  25. I don't know if I could write that much but I love the idea of breaking it up into smaller more manageable goals.

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  26. Every year I think about doing it. And every year I go, yeah no. haha. I have respect for anyone who takes on the challenge!

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  27. This is a great post! And these are some really helpful tips. I did Camp NaNo this year in July, and I found having a writing buddy really helped. It motivated me to keep going, 'cause I've done NaNo once before and quit after four chapters.

    Definitely doing it again next month!

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  28. I'm not much of a writer (yea, I know that's weird for a blogger to say) but I have a huge qualifying exam coming up in May and it would be great to have a huge chunk of the written part done, so maybe I'll work on that during NaNoWriMo

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  29. I want to try, but I don't even know what I'd write about!

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  30. I participated in NaNo this past month for the first time and finished the first draft of my book. I felt so accomplished! You've officially become an inspiration to me because now I'm working on editing and publishing it.

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