National Novel Writing Month starts in just two days, and a couple of times in the past week I’ve had people ask, “How can I make the most of NaNoWriMo?”
More than 400,000 writers across America will set a goal to “write a novel in a month.” The novel is defined as 50,000 words in length. That’s an attainable goal for most people, but it’s also one that you have to struggle to attain.
In order to make the most of the month, here’s what I suggest.
1) Write every day. Set a goal to get something done, and use that inspiration to create a writing habit. It’s a lot like going to the gym. The first few days when you try it, you feel beat up and sore afterward. But if you keep it up for a week, it turns into a habit. Keep it up for two weeks, and you’ll feel crummy if you don’t get to write. In other words, in time you’ll learn to write, and you’ll find it as a release.
2) Don’t rewrite. Instead of going back and fixing things over the month, leave yourself notes each day about edits that you want to make in that previous manuscript, but just keep plowing through it. Otherwise, the rewriting itself becomes something of an excuse not to write original material.
3) Try to write in the same environment every day. I find that it is helpful to write at the same time each day. For me, that’s in the morning. A little routine is helpful. You might find that you like to turn on the stereo and listen to a soundtrack, or grab a drink of tea to set beside your computer. Whatever you need to do, get into a habit.
4) There are certain things to avoid. Don’t read your emails first, or let yourself go on Facebook, or play videogames. This is your writing time. In fact, communication where you respond to others should go out the window. The desire to write is born of the need to communicate, and if you’re talking to others, the desire to write will diminish.
5) Have a plan for your book. If you haven’t plotted your novel yet, you might consider that now. To help you, I have the Story Puzzle Course that deals with brainstorming and outlining a novel, as well as my Amazon bestseller Million Dollar Outlines, in the Storybuilders’ Bundle below.
6) Reading a little helps get me in the mood to write, but once again, it has to be a little. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fiction. For example, reading a little writing article might sometimes encourage me. That’s the reason I wrote a short e-book called Daily Meditations: Writer Tips for 100 Days. It’s a collection of 100 of my favorite kick articles, all rewritten, along with quotes for each day from other famous authors.
If you’re looking for more inspiration for NaNoWriMo, I’m selling my Storybuilders’ Bundle specifically for NaNoWriMo, with the Promising Starts and Worldbuilding seminars, my #1 Amazon bestseller Million Dollar Outlines, and the Story Puzzle writing course. It’s $600 worth of material going for $19.99, and will be more than enough to build a solid start and keep it through the challenges of the month. Click here to find out more.
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.