So, as you all remember from my last post, 7 Tips on Prepping for the Month of Insanity- NaNoWriMo, I myself am attempting NaNoWriMo this year.
Today is considered the third day, and so far, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m at almost nine thousand words, and will probably plunk out a couple hundred more before bed.
Anyways, I figured I’d give a couple tips on how to best capitalize on that beginning excitement for NaNo to churn out words- and how to continue onwards when that initial burst of inspiration dries up. Here we go.
- Do write as many words as possible in the first week. November’s a busy month, what with Thanksgiving, the end of the school semester for some of you, and of course, NaNoWriMo takes time away from other important things. If you can get the majority of your novel done by the 7th, you will be so grateful you did that later… for example, when your boss for work dumps a giant project on you…. or a teacher suddenly tells you about a last-minute 5-8 page research paper.
- Do word sprints. I can’t emphasize this one enough, and to give you an example, I can maybe write 1,500 words in 1 hour with no breaks. Now, for comparison, I can churn out 500-700 words in one 10-minute sprint. That means I can get more in three 10-minute sprints than I can in a 1-hour marathon. Wow. This has a science behind it, as it’s long enough you can devote your full attention but short enough that you don’t get tired, hungry, etc.
- Pace yourself out throughout the day. This goes hand in hand with doing word sprints. If you try to write in a marathon, you’ll become much more drained than if you split it up throughout the day. Me? I’m trying to write for half an hour when I wake up, whenever I’m in the car (not driving), and then fit in word sprints whenever possible. It helps me stay in the ‘story zone’ all day- and it’s not too shabby for my word count, either.
- Do something for yourself each day. And no, I’m not talking about doubling your word count (though that’s nice, too). Take some time to recharge. Watch a movie. Read a chapter of a book you’ve started. It may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll function better if you have some set time to decompress. (And yes, I know I’m repeating myself from my 7 tips for prepping, but trust me, you want to listen to me on this one.)
- Write at a time you wouldn’t normally. Now, if you’re an evening writer (like me), the idea of writing in the morning might fill you with dread. Solidarity, people. But it might provide you with a burst of creativity to write at a time you don’t normally. Something new. Something different. So grab a cup of coffee or whatever your favorite form of caffeine is and get writing. (Also, writing in the morning might also mean that you’re so excited to get back to your story later that day you even surpass your word goal for the day. Yeah! It’s amazing!)
- Most importantly, don’t give up. I don’t care if you’re over 10k words behind. Remember why you did NaNo? That’s right. So that you could finish something. Are you going to give up on that now? No! Get back to that keyboard and get writing.
Happy NaNoing everyone, and good luck with your writing!