Hey, my name is Swetlana and in an unexpected turn of events, I (kind of) talked myself into joining NaNoWriMo again this year. You might be wondering why I talked about joining NaNoWriMo again when I’ve never really talked about having done it before. Well, I don’t know why I haven’t talked about it before but I’ve done it at least twice now – but it was in the beginning of the 2010s so it’s been quite a few years! I did actually reach 50.000 words the last time I did it which was such a great thing to happen!
I figured since I’ve done this before it might be nice to share some tips with those of you who are participating too – I know a handful of bloggers who are doing it with me! Which leads me right into my first tip!
Get Yourself Some Writing Buddies
One of the greatest things about NaNoWriMo is the community and I feel like by actively engaging with it, you’re going to have a much better time! During my previous years, I would make sure to follow people on Twitter and to participate in the forum discussions as often as I could. This time around, we’re a little group of 6 bloggers and we’ve created a Twitter group chat to talk all things NaNoWriMo! I can’t wait to see how this is going to evolve as we’re getting closer to November and things start to kick off for real!
To sum this up: make sure you’re not doing NaNoWriMo on your own! Long nights of writing are much more fun when you know someone else is up and writing too!
Join Word Wars/Sprints
If you’re a competitive person, I feel like Word Wars and Sprints are going to be right up your alley! I’m pretty sure that I wrote a good chunk of my 50k words during tons of them! It’s always fun seeing how much someone else was trying to write in 10/15/20/etc minutes and you can set yourself a goal of ‘beating their high score’ during the next round! Both ‘events’ always start at a given time point which can give you the needed push to start writing already! Because aren’t we all procrastinators to some degree? I found knowing that the next sprint would be in 5 minutes always helped me get started writing!
I mean, who doesn’t like a reward right??? People have probably told you to reward you with little snacks (say, a gummy bear for every paragraph you read) when you’re doing something that’s not exactly fun. Well, the same can be applied here! You can either set small rewards, like eating a gummy bear for every 100 words you write. Or maybe something bigger like allowing yourself to buy a new book when you reach 10k? I know I would write and write until my fingers fell off with that kind of reward waiting for me!
Be Sure To Take Breaks
Under no circumstances do you want to burn yourself out. That would be horrible. Plan breaks into your daily routine. You could even reward yourself by watching that new video from your favorite YouTuber after you’ve reached your daily writing goal! Or take a nice, hot shower at the end of the day before getting into bed to get a bit more writing done. Anything that helps you relax and gives yourself the needed motivation and boost to continue writing!
Make Realistic Daily Goals
If you’ve done NaNoWriMo before, you probably know that the recommended daily writing goal is 1667 words to reach 50k words by the end of November. But if you know you won’t be able to write that much – adjust your daily goals! You are the only one who knows how much time you can put aside for writing daily. And if you know you have days coming up where you won’t be able to get any writing done? Make sure to consider this in your planning too! Calculate those words for a day when you know you will have more time to invest in your writing! And if you can, work ahead! I always loved seeing my word count being above where it ‘should’ be if you stuck with the suggested 1667 words per day.
Any Progress Is Good Progress
Try and make sure to remember that any kind of progress you make towards writing during the month of November is good progress! If you don’t get to 50k (or whatever word count you set as your own goal), that’s okay! You’ve written something towards that goal. Be it 10k or less. Or more. It’s all progress you didn’t have before! Be proud of that!
Each NaNoWriMo Is Going To Teach You Something
I feel like a great way to go into NaNoWriMo is to see it as a big learning experience for yourself and your writing! You might discover that you’re not a planner after all. You work much better when you just dive right into that blank document and write and write and write! Or you might discover the opposite and realize that you really need a plan to write. Maybe you work better at night. Or the early morning hours. In a louder environment like a coffee shop or in utter silence in your own room. There are endless possibilities for you to further discover who you are as a writer and how you work best!
Make Sure To Write Down Any And All Ideas
Honestly, you guys. This is going to be crucial! There is nothing worse than having a great idea for a scene and not writing it down, thinking you’ll remember it later. You won’t. I am someone who just writes without a real plan when it comes to NaNoWriMo – I don’t have an outline or anything.
But, while in the shower the other day I had this really great idea for a scene that would fit really well with my story and I got so angry because. Dude, could you wait until I’m at least out of the shower before inspiration struck? The fear of forgetting what my idea was certainly was real! But I managed to get dressed and write it down before I forgot about it. And that’s 100% something I suggest you do! Keep a notepad on you at all times. Or your phone. Whichever works best for you!
Are any of you guys joining NaNoWriMo this year? And if so, do you have a plan in place for how you’ll get through the month?
If you’re a seasoned NaNoWriMo participant, do you have any more tips for fellow writers who are doing NaNoWriMo for the first time? Did I forget about any tips you think are really important? Please share in the comments below! That way we can help each other out even more!