I’ve never participated in NANOWRIMO before. I’ve always told myself I’m too busy. But really, I’ve been too scared. This year, I’m putting my fears aside and I’m committing to NANOWRIMO. I’m worried I might fail, but mostly I’m excited to finally be trying.
Since I want to succeed, I’ve thought long and hard about how to make my first NANO experience a success. I’ve come up with 5 tips for surviving NANOWRIMO like a boss.
I’m excited to share them with you!
Are you participating in NANOWRIMO this year? Whether you are all gung ho and ready to start, or a bit hesitant to commit yourself, let these 5 tips help you make NANO a success!
*Note: Even if you’re not participating in NANO, these tips can still help you write more effectively. Enjoy!
My Top 5 Tips For Surviving NANOWRIMO Like a Boss
1. Have a plan
I have a plan for my novel, a basic outline, and a plan for myself.
For my novel I have a basic understanding of the beginning and end and a few points in between. I know my main characters and what they want. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I’m more of a pantser than a planner, so my outline is basic. It’s all organized in my planner that’s designed for authors. It’s simple, but enough that I feel prepared to start writing.
Since I’m a new mother and I’m going to be on vacation for Thanksgiving, I need to be strategic about how and when I can write.
I might try text to speech so I can “write” while I’m nursing my 3-month-old.
I know I won’t get as much writing done during my vacation. So I’m planning on writing more before I go. I’m also planning ways to write effectively when on my vacation. I’ll have a notebook so that I can still write even if I don’t have my laptop.
I have my eyes on the prize, and with my plan I hope to write 50,000 words during November.
2. Have a List of Motivators
If I’m struggling to write, I have a list of things that I can go to. A podcast for writers, a 10 minute walk outside, maybe a cat nap.
When the words aren’t coming, you feel burnt out, or you don’t even want to start, have a list of things you can do to put yourself in the mood to write.
Having this list prepared and ready before NANO begins will help you when the moment to push through or take a brake is upon you.
3. Give Yourself a Proper Writing Space
For me this means my desk is clean and free of distraction. I also need to have my water bottle full of ice cold water. I’m also considering creating a writing play list. It’s something I’ve never done, but I find intriguing.
Whatever helps you create an environment conducive to writing, should be a top priority whenever you want to write efficiently.
4. Stop Writing Mid Scene
If you finish a scene, it can be hard to know where to go next. Or it can be hard to find the motivation to start writing the next day.
But if you stop in the middle of an important conversation or halfway through gripping description of a killer beast (for example) then it will be so much easier to pick up where you left off.
Stopping mid scene will help you know what needs to be written next, and it will help you feel excited to write the next day.
5. Reward Yourself
Whether you reward yourself just for writing each day or only if you reach your word count for the day, having a reward system will motivate you to reach your goal. Rewards can be a good way to help you make it through!
My favorite rewards system is based on “points.” I might give myself a set amount of points per word I write. And maybe a bonus if I reach my word count for the day. Then, with my points I can “buy” the chance to paint my nails, do a face mask, work on a puzzle, or take a nap while my husband looks after the baby. Sometimes I let my prizes include spending money. New clothes or maybe some awesome NANO merch.
Decide how you want to earn your rewards and what you want your rewards to be.
Then let the motivation keep you going until you complete NANO like a boss!
Are you participating in NANO? What tricks do you have to get through the month?
If you need more inspiration Sarah Werener of the Write Now Podcast did an amazing episode last year: 30 Tips for 30 Days of NANOWRIMO.