Every November people from around the world participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The objective of the event is to write 50,000 words towards your novel or other writing project in 30 days. That’s 1666 words per day. It’s a long haul but the event is an excellent way to break the back of your next project. Depending on your experience, NaNo can be met with glee or anxiety.
I enjoy the challenge, so I participate every year. For those of you who would love to enter but suffer from anxiety and/or imposter syndrome, I have a few helpful hints:
- Plan out your story. Even if you are a ‘pantser’, having a few notes on names and places will be helpful. Having a rough plot outline or at least a direction will make the month easier.
- Find an accountability partner. This can be someone in a face-to-face writing group, a friend who understands, a friend in an online group, or someone you have met on the NaNo forums. They just need to be someone who can help to motivate and support you.
- Set aside some time to write every day. Discuss this with those who live with you. They may need to modify their lives for the month to assist you. For example, my family graciously takes over cooking dinner so that I have the time I need to write.
- Set up a place devoted to your writing. If you already have a writing desk or nook, all the better; but if you do not, it’s time to create one. Preferably it will be free from distraction and won’t need to be set up each time you use it.
- Have some sort of reward system. For me, it’s a handful of M&M’s. I love them but can’t have many.
- Be kind to yourself. If you miss a few words one day, attempt to catch up later. Never give up, no matter how far behind you get. Remember, each word you put on the page is one closer to those words we all long to write:
Best of luck guys. I hope to see you in the winner’s circle.