NaNoWriMo Tips that Work for Me
This is my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, and I’ve hit my word count each day to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month.
On the first day, the words just poured out.
I thought it would be an easy experience and wasn’t sure why people couldn’t finish it. I wrote over 1,600 words in about 25 minutes.
But the second day wasn’t easy…
It took longer, and I wasn’t able to finish it all in the morning like I had planned. My writing spilled into the evenings, and I was longing for the first day where it took me less than 30 minutes to hit my daily goal.
And there are still some days that are tougher than others.
However, there are a few processes I now implement that set me up for success. It doesn’t make writing easier, but it makes the process easier.
I don’t know if they’ll work for you. But I wanted to share them if there was the off chance that they did help you.
Even though we are almost at the halfway point, I think it’s okay if you still haven’t established a routine.
I know I’m just finding my groove now.
NaNoWriMo Tip No. 1
The first tip is I like to finish my writing for NaNoWriMo in morning.
I like being in a warm bed with the covers wrapped around me as much as the next person.
Hearing an alarm clock sucks.
But I’ve found that writing in the morning helps me reach my goals. I normally can hit my word count in about an hour if I’m super focused.
There have been a few days where I haven’t finished everything in the morning. But that’s normally because I didn’t give myself the full hour to write.
I normally get a good chunk done in the morning if I don’t hit over 1,600.
Now, my writing in the evenings does seem to take a lot longer for some reason. Maybe I’m tired, or maybe it just takes longer to get back in the zone.
I don’t plan out my writing, and I just write how I see the story playing out in my head. So that delay could be why it seems harder to write in the evening than in the mornings.
Knowing this about myself, I make it a priority to write in the morning now.
I know its hard to find time. Everyone has jobs, families, pets, and a bunch of other things that make it difficult to sit down and just write.
But the key isn’t finding time because that’s difficult. The key is making time to write.
Wake up an hour early. Wake up 30 minutes earlier. Even just an additional 10 minutes of writing is better than nothing.
If you’re more of an evening person or have to write in the evening, just see what you can put off. That may mean waiting until the weekend to catch up on a Netflix binge session or skipping a night out at the bar.
Whether you’re waking up early or just staying in at night, you have to find something to sacrifice to reach 50,000 words.
I know I’ve committed a lot of time to my writing. And NaNoWriMo has shown me it’s not time to let up.
I also know I can give it more.
NaNoWriMo Tip No. 2
The second tip I have is just don’t get behind.
I know it happens. From what I see, there are people who can catch up.
But when I started this, my goal was to write over 1,600 words a day. I just didn’t want to put myself in a position where I would have to catch up.
I wanted to see how feasible it was to write 1,666 words in a day.
It gets more intimidating the further you get behind something. And then eventually, you’re able to start rationalizing why you can’t do it.
After that, it’s far too easy to quit.
To avoid that, I’m forcing myself to get at least 1,666 words posted to Medium each day.
That leads me to my third tip…
NaNoWriMo Tip No. 3
Having a blog or a platform where you post your writing each day makes you feel committed to getting it done, no matter what.
I’ve found not a lot of people will actually read your writing. I have 0 views for some of my stories, which means people aren’t following along each day on my NaNoWriMo Index.
But that’s okay.
People have their own writing to do, and my NaNoWriMo project isn’t polished. I write everything without editing and restructuring, and then I post it.
It may seem discouraging not to have a lot of readers, but the biggest benefit of posting your writing each day to a blog or website is you’ve made a commitment.
You don’t want to disappoint other people if they are following your writing each day. And it’s even worse if you disappoint yourself.
So by publishing your writing each day, even if it isn’t perfect, I think you have a better shot at reaching 50,o00 words by the end of November.
Hopefully one of these tips can help you win NaNoWriMo in 2016.
Best of luck to everyone participating! Almost there!