Thursday Thirteen


13 ways to survive NaNo with your insanity entact.

  1. Set realistic goals. If you know your schedule is so busy one day that you’ll only have one hour to write, don’t expect a high word count like 5k. This will lead to disappointment if you only make it to 2k. Be aware of what’s possible before deciding what to take on.
  2. Join a support group. No, not like AA. There are more people doing NaNo than you’d expect. has local chapters where you can meet and mingle with fellow writers. They have themed groupings. You can also join a group on Facebook.
  3. Do a little at a time, when you find yourself waning. Twitter has a great feature, called NaNo Sprints. You write non-stop for fifteen minutes. You can take a break, or continue with the next sprint. Having a deadline helps make that word count build up.
  4. Be comfortable. If you write best in a crowded coffee house, take that trip. Don’t try and do something different just because you’ve got so little time to write. Your Muse knows what it enjoys. Humor it and it will be nice to you.
  5. Don’t edit. This is the time to turn off that internal editor and just write. Who cares if you use passive voice, a ton of extra adverbs, or choppy sentences. The point is to get your work done first. Then, once NaNo’s over and you got the book finished, you go back and edit it to your heart’s content.
  6. Share your progress, failures, excitement, disappointment. So what if your family is tired of hearing that you only got 2k when you wanted 4k. If they don’t want to listen, chances are you have at least one friend on Facebook or Twitter that’s participating. Start up a conversation. Check out the pep talks on I’m happy to buddy up. Youngmomx3
  7. Find what works and go with it. This is a bit like Number 4, but it’s also a bit different. If you find a certain time of day that is most productive, try to keep that time open for writing. If you hit a writer’s block, try writing down two or three key words and just write about that. Chances are, you’ll be back to having the words flow in no time.
  8. Take a break. Don’t get burnt out. This is a month long event. If you force yourself to do nothing but write, chances are by the middle of the month, you’ll be so frustrated that you can’t be productive. Be sure to enjoy life. Take a walk, have coffee with a friend, watch a movie in between writing time. You have plenty of time to get that word count completed. Don’t devote every single moment to the story.
  9. Have your story planned out before you write. Some people don’t like going by outlines and if you don’t that’s fine. You don’t have to follow one. But you at least want to have some semblance of an idea for how you want the story to go.
  10. Don’t stress if things take a different turn than you’d planned. If your hero is a bad ass military man, closed off from the world but all of a sudden you find yourself giving him a gushy side, go with it. Chances are, your Muse knows more than you.
  11. Be ready to celebrate. Have a celebration plan ready for when you master that 50k! Or, you can set a plan for just 4k, 12k or whatever you like. Don’t wait until the month’s over to be proud of what you accomplish.
  12. If the book you’re writing is one that you’ll like to publish, take a bit of time to go ahead and promote. Share an excerpt with your blog followers, post a six sentence Sunday on Facebook. Share your new work with the world! If it’s as great as you think it can be, people will begin to get interested and anticipate when it’ll be released.
  13. Write! Yeah, that seems simple and a no-brainer. After all, what else are you supposed to do during NaNo but write. However, no one said you have to just work on that one story. For this writer, I enjoy writing blog posts, an article or two, maybe a journal entry, just to get the mojo flowing. This really helps keep the writer’s block at bay when it’s time to work on my NaNo project. My brain has settled into the writing haze and my fingers itch to type. Thirty minutes on a separate project, and I can easily get 2k in a short time.

I hope these tips have helped you on your journey to NaNo success. Feel free to share any other tips you may have.

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