So I was throwing some random NaNoWriMo advice at a friend on Goodreads, and decided to actually post that advice and a couple other things as a blog post. Because hey, why not? Maybe someone will benefit. 🙂 (Plus, how better to procrastinate plotting that book I need to start writing tomorrow than by blogging, amIright? 😉 )
In no particular order, here is some random advice for how to survive NaNoWriMo. Because writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days definitely calls for survival tips.
(You may know all of these and/or I may have said all of this before, in which case OH WELL you may as well hear it again. 😄 We could probably use a refresher course…)
1) Know your plot! …If you don’t yet, you’re in a little bit of trouble, but don’t despair, you still have a day-ish left. 😉 And you haven’t, you can try to do some outlining during the month. Just be aware that you may need to do this… (If you’re a pantser, I salute you, brave soul.)
2) Lots of wordwars/wordsprints! If there’s nobody to wordwar with, I like to just set a timer and wordwar against that. If there’s a timer going for 10-15 minutes, I feel like I need to be writing the whole time and so I actually WRITE; and it’s a very rewarding feeling, writing down the amount of words I get each time, to know that after that amount of time I actually got words written. 🙂
(EDIT: New on the NaNo site this year is a wordsprint timer with optional prompts! Check it out!)
3) If you can, write to music. Turn on some fast music with a steady fast beat if you can write to music, because I’ve found I type faster with that. (May just be me.)
4) Try to stay on top of the 1667 per day goal if you possibly can — it’s no fun being behind later in the month. Falling behind really adds up. That being said, also try to write more at the beginning if you can! Chances are you’ll be more excited about your story at the beginning and not tired out yet, so the more you write early on, the better it will be. 🙂
5) Be willing to just write anything, and do not even think about going back to edit! That will derail you pretty fast if you go back and tweak. Leave a note to yourself about what to change if you need to and move on.
6) Get some encouragement if you’re feeling behind. Reading a pep-talk or ranting to a writing friend about being stuck/behind and getting reassured, or having some chocolate, or rewarding yourself when you hit that particular goal by getting to read a chapter of that book you really want to read or something, can totally help. (Of course, I’m the first to admit that the reading-a-chapter thing can backfire if you accidentally read the whole book… >.> So, beware!)
7) Remember to get up and move around. …Wait, what? For real, you should try not to spend the ENTIRE month of November sitting hunched over a laptop/notebook. (As someone who spent a few months this year with serious back pain from using too much computer and not moving enough, take it from me: you don’t want that.) Stretch! Take a walk! (It’s amazing the benefits of a good brisk walk to brainstorm scenes. Almost as good as the notorious in-the-shower-inspiration. I still maintain both of these are because you can’t actually write down your ideas at the time…)
8) Drink water. You thought I was going to say coffee, didn’t you? 😉 Which is good in the caffeine/warming-up categories, but seriously, it’s important to stay hydrated, and you’d be surprised how much better I feel when I drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. Give it a shot. 🙂 Coffee and tea, while also good November drinks, especially when it’s cold, just don’t hydrate like good ol’ water. I fill a gallon water jug up to the line I marked after measuring 10 cups into it, and just pour the water into a glass throughout the day, which is an easy way to keep track. It helps SO much, especially since I tend to get headaches when I don’t drink enough water; and it’s super hard to write with a headache.
9) Don’t give up! Even if it looks like you won’t hit the goal for the day, or for the month, just keep writing anyway. You’ll be surprised with where you end up if you just keep going. 🙂
10) Have fun! Enjoy the ride and try not to get too stressed out — just enjoy the crazy fun that is writing and knowing others are too. 🙂 (I’m trying to remind MYSELF with this one… I tend to get stressed instead of enjoying myself. :P)
Aaand while I’m in a NaNo-y mood . . .
If you haven’t seen it, you can pop over to my post from last year, NaNoWriMo, My Dear Watson, which is NaNo-in-a-Nutshell-with-Sherlock-gifs.
(And even if you have seen it, go see it again, because NaNo + Sherlock Holmes = why wouldn’t you? 😉 )
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be over in the corner wrapped in my shock blanket, because NaNo’s TOMORROW???