Notebook and pen. Ready for a story to be written.

One Word At A Time

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is well and truly upon us!

While the rest of the world is frolicking through November with thoughts of the end of the year top of mind, thousands of writers are hunkered down and working hard to complete a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days.

For the last few years I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo – which has always proven to be a very rewarding learning experience. But, I’ve never actually attempted the task with the full 30 days at my disposal…

While in high school I always had exams in November which (as you can imagine) isn’t very conducive to dedicating what feels like a million hours to writing.
This means that I usually take on NaNoWriMo with sometimes as little as 6 focused days of writing – and a whole lot of energy bars.
Thankfully, I come out mostly unscathed and carrying a very, very, very rough draft each time.

In celebration of the fast approaching deadline (and hopefully finish line), I figured I’d share some of my favourite NaNoWriMo survival writing tips to get you through these last few days.

Write now, edit later

When you undertake a project like NaNoWriMo you sign up for a blur of a time. What I mean is: it’s incredibly fast-paced. There’s no time for fretting about making each and every word perfect – that can come later. Right now, get the story down. And whatever you do: don’t look back (in terms of editing, at least).
Once November has lapsed and you’re feeling more like a human you can start revisions, but you need full manuscript before that.

One word at a time

There’s only one way to defeat NaNoWriMo: one word at a time. Set aside how you think everyone else is doing and the belief many of us have about how ‘this is not good enough’ and WRITE. Get the words out of your head and onto paper because it’s the only way you’ll ever get this book done.

Never surrender

If you’re currently behind, try not to let discouragement get the better of you.
It’s important to remember that NaNoWriMo is not the golden standard of writers – and that not finishing doesn’t make you a bad writer.
Don’t quit; don’t stop; don’t let your word count get you down.

No one ever complained about rewards

Keep yourself motivated with mini rewards.
If you go through a tough day of writing and hit your desired word count have a cupcake (or five) to celebrate. If you hit 25, 000 do more than flail about it on Twitter. Flail about it in elevators and grocery stores and at family dinners too! If you hit 50, 000 words you should be doing a whole lot more than merely patting yourself on the back.
No matter what, if you’re writing and achieving the little (or big) goals you’re setting for yourself relish in that feeling: you’ve done it; you can do it; you are doing it.Text graphic: the first draft is just telling yourself the story, Terry Pratchett

Do you have any tips to add?

2 thoughts on “One Word At A Time

  1. This sounds a whole lot like getting through any major goal. A lot of fear, panic and pain. My slogan for these sort of goals for 2019 is – the pain of discipline is far more enjoyable than the pain of regret. I look forward to hearing about the completed and ready to read manuscript soon.

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