So, NaNoWriMo is nearly over (OH GOD!), and maybe I have not yet written as much, or as quickly as I would have liked. During this month, I have been dealing with a busy month at work as my responsibilities have increased; helping the boyfriend get a new job (SUCCESS!); a bit of family drama; and trying to make it through a 700+ page Stephen King book. Phew, Christmas cannot come quick enough!
I thought that I would share some tips for if you decide to try NaNo next year, or if you do not win this year (there’s still time), but need to get back on the horse.
For new writers:
Practice writing in sprints to get used to writing a bit every day.
Try different methods – 500 words at a time, 2,000 all in one go, 10,000 in a day, etc.
Have realistic goals in terms of your daily life; I have a lot on, as can be seen above, and that’s without competing in pole competitions right now, so I knew I would probably only just succeed (which I still plan on doing)
Read around the genre before you start writing in it
Have a basic plan, including:
Main 5-10 characters
General order of events
3-5 most important events
Any note-worthy conversations
If you are more organised, create a template for yourself to fill weekly.
For current NaNo-ers:
Read through what you have written
Note what you like about it
Note what you don’t like about it
Throw out the negative list
Try again next year – and use the tips above to get yourself going again!
I am currently on less than 30,000 words, but with a weekend to myself, no book events or dance classes, or money to do anything, I can officially sit in and write write write for two days straight. I will be aiming for 10-15,000 words over the course of the weekend.
Remind yourself through this process that nobody else has to see it, and if you want them to eventually, then the edits can come later. The focus of NaNo for me was to get me to finally start writing a novel as I have said I would since I was a child. 50,000 words is certainly not enough for my novel, but it will be a great starting point.
Finally, don’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t manage to win. Be proud of yourself for trying, and take note of things you could do differently to better manage your time next year.