In today’s article we are gearing up for Nanowrimo! National Writing Month begins November 1st. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. Are you up for it?
The Divas are here to help you with some tips to help you be a “winner” in this challenge. Like they say at Nanowrimo, “No plot, no problem!” The key to completing this challenge is to put words on the page. Quality doesn’t matter…yet. This is an exercise that will explode your excuses and get you into the habit of writing each day. Who knows, you just might write the next best seller.
Now on to the tips.
Get started early
No, I don’t mean get started writing early—that would be cheating. But you can sign up now at www.nanowrimo.org and start thinking about your plot and characters. Having these set in your mind will make things easier when you put your fingers to keyboard.
Set writing goals for each day
If you write 1,667 words a day for the next thirty days, you’ll have successfully reached your goal. C’mon, try it. I know you can do it. 🙂
Pad your writing time
Things happen. Kids get sick, friends pop over for an impromptu visit, and some days the muse just won’t cooperate. Because of this, we recommend writing extra each day. Instead of writing 1,667 words a day, aim for 2,000 or more.
Make your goals realistic
Sure, writing 10,000 words a day sounds reasonable now, but when staring at that blinking cursor, such a goal can feel like a crushing weight on your chest. And nothing kills the ability to write faster than a boatload of pressure. So, keep it real and know your limits.
Also, don’t forget to set a realistic writing schedule during that hectic Thanksgiving week. You’ll need to account for the time you need to clean, cook, shop, etc. If you know that you won’t be able to write during this time, block out some time earlier in the month to make up for the days off. Black Friday and Cyber Monday come right on the heels of this holiday. Make sure you have time to write and snags some great deals, too!
Just because you’ve reached your daily writing goal, doesn’t mean you should quit writing for the day. If your muse is flowing, go with it.
You may be more motivated in the beginning of the challenge than you are at the end. Take advantage of this rush of beginner’s enthusiasm and try to get ahead. It may be the thing that saves you if you hit a slump later.
Make a commitment now. Say it with me: “I will meet my daily writing goal before I succumb to any distractions.” Put your phone in the other room and temporarily turn off your computer’s access to the internet. Write before you read your e-mail, before you play a game of Bejeweled, and before you check Twitter, Pintrest, or get on Facebook. While these are fun, you may find you’ve eaten up all your free time before you’ve had a chance to write a word.
Also, forgo an often unconsidered form of distraction. Don’t reread what you’ve written. You will waste countless amounts of time doing this and just might fall into the trap we talk about in our next tip.
You’ve heard it before: Just write. And that’s exactly what you should do. Don’t worry about sentence structure, comma placement, or even spelling. You can polish your story later. In fact, take a load off your mind and set aside part of December for revising, editing, and redrafting.
So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t signed up for Nanowrimo, do it now. It’s time to flex your writing muscles.