10 NaNoWriMo Survival Tips


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. πŸ™‚ (Plus, how better to procrastinate plotting that book I need to start writing tomorrow than by blogging, amIright? πŸ˜‰ )

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. XD 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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ™‚

(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. πŸ™‚

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? πŸ˜‰ Which is good in the caffeine/warming-up categories, but seriously, it’s important to stay hydrated, andΒ  you’d be surprised how much better I feel when I drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.Β Give it a shot. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ (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? πŸ˜‰ )

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be over in the corner wrapped in my shock blanket, because NaNo’s TOMORROW???

Share your best advice for NaNo in the comments! We can all always use more tips! πŸ™‚ Best of luck, everyone! YOU’VE GOT THIS.


29 thoughts on “10 NaNoWriMo Survival Tips

  1. YES TO ALL THE THINGS. This is perfect. I was literally nodding along with every. single. point. Wonderful advice!

    Knowing your plot is definitely important! Even though I love to pants, you know how crazy I go plotting with NaNo. XD It just makes it sooo much easier! And I totally agree with the music thing! I write a lot faster with something epic and fast paced going. It makes me feel like I’m fighting in a great battle or something and have to keep moving. (Which I guess I AM fighting in the great battle of the Writers vs. Wordcounts. *grins*)

    Oh, oh! I need to remember the set a timer for wordsprints thing. I’ve done that a few times and it was great. Thanks for the reminder! I love this idea!

    Moving and drinking water is very important, yes! And a reminder I think we all need. I’m actually an avid water drinker, as much as I joke about my caffeine intake. I mean, I LOVE coffee and the like, but I always have water with my coffee. Coffee actually MAKES me thirsty. So yes, water is good!

    “Have fun!” The most important advice of all! ^_^

    This was such a great list. I loved it so much I pinned it on Pinterest because everyone should read it!

    Also, YOUR SHERLOCK NANO POST. Obviously I HAD to go back and read it. I remember when you did that! It is the most perfect thing! XDDD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hurray, I’m so glad you liked it! And… yep, by now I think you’d have all these down as well. XD

      It’s funny how you usually pants but plot for NaNo, and how I usually plot but end up more pantsing than usual during NaNo. XD But yes, plotting is def important. *nods* YES, epic music! Haha, I love that — yep, totally fighting a great battle. πŸ˜‰

      Oh! I forgot to mention: apparently NaNo has a new thing with a timer for sprints! :O I totally forgot to mention it… I haven’t used it myself so I don’t know exactly what it’s like, but it’s here: http://nanowrimo.org/word-sprints *will maybe add it to the post*

      Hurray for water! Good to hear! ^_^ And yes, coffee making you thirsty — the irony, but I agree. XD

      Aww, thanks! ❀

      *giggling over the Sherlock post* Such a silly person am I. I'm glad you like it! XDDD


  2. Love these! ❀

    and NANO IS TOMMORROW and I am just really scared. Eeeek. o.o So nervous because I just really really want it to go well and just ahhh. *flop*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m glad! πŸ™‚

      DON’T BE NERVOUS EMILY!! YOU CAN DO IIIIT!! I will totally be here cheering you on and I know you’ll do fine! Just don’t freak out too much, okay? Take it a day at a time, a word at a time, and have fun! ❀ *huggles*


      • THANK YOU, DEBORAH! I am really nervous. o.o But I know it will be a blast and a great experience. (although I just can’t decide what person to write in! Either first person past tense or third person past tense. I just can’t decide! Sigh.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • *hopes you will feel less nervous and more excited sooon* ❀ (And I hope you'll be able to decide! Personally, third person past is my favorite, but whatever you choose is great. πŸ˜‰ ) YOU'VE GOT THIIIIS!


  3. This is fabulous advice! ❀

    Yes, I totally agree on outlining…I've nearly finished mine, so that's good, I may only have to work on it a bit during NaNo. I'm no pantser, that's for certain. XD

    I LOVE writing to music! It really does help you type faster. I've found Lindsey Stirling, TSFH, and Alan Walker are my favorites to listen to. πŸ™‚

    Ah, the notorious in-the-shower-inspiration. Love that stuff. I've actually taken a shower on purpose for just this reason. It really does help a ton! πŸ™‚

    I agree, it's so important to remember to just have fun. Seriously. πŸ˜‰ Hope prepping has gone well and you're ready to take on NaNo! ❀ WE GOT THIS.

    Also looked back at your Sherlock post and it is PERFECTION. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Madeline! πŸ™‚

      Best of luck on finishing your outline! πŸ˜€

      Lindsey Stirling and TSFH are amazing! Ooh, I haven’t heard of Alan Walker… I’ll have to look him up. πŸ™‚

      Haha, I love that. XD Purposeful shower inspiration — awesome. πŸ˜€ (I’m that way about walks, so yep. ;))

      LET’S HAVE FUN YESH. Thank you so much! I think I’m ready… I think I’ve decided that having a rough outline is good enough and if I have to somewhat pants each chapter, hopefully I can handle that. πŸ™‚

      Aww, thanks — I’m glad you like the Sherlock post! ^_^


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great tips! Pretty much, my NaNo writing regime isn’t all that much different from my normal one lol, but I do make myself write every night instead of doing something else πŸ˜‰ It does definitely help to have other people you know doing it so if you do get stuck you have someone to push you along πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome advice! I think you covered it all- I don’t really have anything to add. Other than the fact that, amazing as Word Wars and Word Sprints can be, Wordcount Crawls (which are basically a lot of Wars and Sprints in a row) are absolutely magical, particularly if you have anything remotely resembling a perfectionist streak.

    Liked by 1 person

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