So it’s that time of year again and NaNoWriMo is upon us. I have done it every year since 2006 because it’s such a great way to get out a first draft.
I aim for 70,000 words because it pushes me more and I always finish. I currently write YA and when I started I was writing adult novels which generally have longer word counts. Here are my tips to make it FUN for you and so you can finish.
Me? I’m a bit crazy when it comes to writing, but I always try to finish by Thanksgiving. I divide up the word count by days. So yes, MATH.
This year Thanksgiving is on November 23rd so for me to hit 70,000 words I have to write 3043 words a day, every day. See how that works?
You GOT THIS. I know you can do it. The 3rd or fourth year I did it I was also working 50 hours a week and was in the running for a TV writing fellowship where they actually asked me to fly out a spec episode over a week. It’s about breaking up your day into units of time.
Yes, just like Will in About A Boy. Everything you do can be broken down and therefore making it seem less daunting.
Example: Gym-1 hour (1 unit), walking my dog 1/2 unit, cooking and eating dinner 2 units. Writing 3,000 words 3 units, work 6 to 8 units. Yes, your day will be longer, but that’s what it takes to be a writer–you know this, right?
Okay here is a simple list that I hope helps.
- Forget outlining and planning. I know there are people and places who start the NaNoWriMo outlining in Sept. Don’t do it, really it makes it much harder to hit a word count when you are constrained to an outline. You can do that in revisions. Just have a story idea, character and be FREE, you’ll love it.
- Don’t compare yourself to other writers. You are you and what you are writing is perfect for you.
- Make a word count daily plan and then hit it every day.
- Tell your family and friends that you are doing this and ask for the space you need to write.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. You can always make it up, but try to stick it because it’s easier to do smaller amounts daily.
- Do NOT edit-this is the biggest one. Do NOT edit as you write or you could get stuck in chapter one forever.
- Be confident in your story.
- Buddy up with people on NaNo and use them as accountability buddies
- Be positive about you and your work even if you have those bad writing days–you can fix all of it in revisions
- Lastly, have fun!!!
“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!” ~ George McFly, Back to the Future