3 Tips for Writers

What I Have Learned from NaNoWriMo

Another November has come and gone, and you know what that means! Yep, NaNoWriMo has ended. I reached three of my four big goals for the month! First, I HAD to get to 50k words; then I needed to finish one book, start another, and while I was at it, reach 100k words. Though I didn’t quite get to the big 100k, this NaNoWriMo taught me a few great lessons about committing to a writing lifestyle. These things have been important to me and my writing journey, and I hope they help you too!

1.Find Your Trigger

My creativity seems to kick on best when I am in or near water. Whether it’s a long shower, a dreary Oregon day, or a sunny day on a cruise somewhere with my family, I always have the best ideas when there’s water in the picture. Though it isn’t necessary for every writing session, I always know I can truly get into the flow of my work when I have that trigger, which helps when I just don’t feel that inspired some days.

Not everyone is going to have the same trigger, of course. Some people need to get outside and be in nature to get the creative juices flowing. Others need to go for a bike ride to let their brains churn with the pedals on the crank. No matter if you are writing 50k words in a month or 50k words this year, it is crucial to find that thing that ignites a creative spark in your head so that you can keep plugging away at your goal.

2. Make Your Writing Time Your Writing Time

I am a night owl. I am bound to be up on my iPad or typing away on my computer into the wee hours of the night, every night. This makes it easy for me to have my personal time to write while my hubby and pets are sound asleep. However, when I do write during normal human hours, it is easy to get sidetracked. If I don’t set aside time to be in my bubble, I am not nearly as productive. Between working on the business-side of being a writer and handling all of the day-to-days of family and pets, it is best just to make sure you carve out time for writing and let those around you know, in a polite way, of course, that you shall not be disturbed.

Again, your writing time is probably going to be different than mine. Your writing time also could partly depend on your trigger. If you are triggered by a bright cup of coffee and you love your little nook at the coffee shop down the street, then it may work best for you to go down there from 7:00–9:00 am every day and rapid-fire literary genius on your computer.

3. Take Care of Your Health

Make sure you are taking care of your body because falling under the weather will set you back tremendously. I JUST experienced when I came down with the flu on the 27th of November. I was on track to reach my 100k NaNoWriMo goal, but between the typical nasty flu symptoms and pounding migraines, I simply couldn’t write those last couple of days. Talk about a buzz kill.

As writers, I know it is easy to fall behind in taking care of our health, but it is crucial in staying on target for a deadline, or in this case, NaNoWriMo. I know that after feeling ill after last week, I know I will make sure to drink another cup of green tea and maybe try to get some more sleep for next year’s NaNoWriMo.

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