Originally published on PerryElisabethDesign.com
My Nano tip is to wrap your mind around the fact that you WILL finish no matter what. The last three years, because I’m always behind by about 30k words, I’ve barely participated in the Thanksgiving festivities in order to ensure that I reach my goal. Three years in a row and going for my fourth win, although this year I’ll stay ahead of the word count.
You don’t have to write 1,666 words all at one time each day. Break it up into spurts of writing if that is more manageable. Ten minutes here, twenty minutes there–it all adds up. Write even if you don’t feel like it, you can make sense of the nonsense later.
I was an utter failure at NaNo! Here’s my tip: Look ahead at your schedule in the month of November. Instead of attempting to write the same number of words each day, plan low-word days and high-word days that average out to equal your goal number of words.
Just keep writing. Write in any spare second you find. If you get stuck, skip ahead (or behind) and fill in the details later. I found out you can get 50,000+ words even while working part-time, celebrating three family birthdays, Thanksgiving holiday with family, and a book release.
Find a writing partner or group to check in with a few times during each week. You can meet in person at the coffee shop/diner, library, etc. or online, doesn’t matter. You’ll need someone to cheer you on and hold you accountable for those daily goals.
Just keep writing every day, even if you’re under the daily word quota. The best thing about NaNo is it gets you into a routine, and that’s how you finish your book, even if it’s not within the month.
Everybody else is going to talk about word count and getting ahead, all good advice. My advice is to get up and walk around about every half hour, even if it is just around your chair. Save your progress, take a walk. You will be able to work longer and write better. The only person who may be disappointed will be your chiropractor.
It’s about quantity, not quality. I’ve had characters burst into song whenever I couldn’t think of what they could say.
My best tip for NaNoWriMo, I’d say, is to plan ahead! I know some people are pansters, but I’ve found that if I start doing NaNo without some sort of outline ready, or if I start with an empty plot… I’ll find myself a few days in and have ran out of things to write! So, definitely plan ahead. And if you do find yourself stuck…writing prompts are lifesavers!
If we pantsers jot down the key plot points & black moment details on index card/Post-It Notes…it will keep us on track without losing spontaneity.
Perry is a 20-something author with a lot on her plate. She’s wife to Tyler; mom to four little boys, two dogs, one cat, and 12 chickens; and author of five little books. She’s the admin of this site, as well as a freelance book designer and the creator of the WriteMind Planner for authors. She lives in the sunny southwest.
Offers: cover design and the WriteMind Planner at perryelisabethdesign.com