Six NaNoWriMo Tips from a Veteran

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So I’ve done NaNoWriMo a bunch of times. How many? I don’t know, I haven’t really kept track, but I’ve gone through it enough to have enough advice to share. Of course your NaNo experience and mine might be different, which leads me into the first point:

1. Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. NaNoWriMo is something you are doing for yourself, and only yourself. Maybe you prefer to do large chunks of writing on the weekends. Maybe, like me, you like to watch your progress evenly grow over a handy-dandy chart. Do what works for you, and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, because:

2. Someone will always, always have more words than you. There are some people who claim to finish in three days; I don’t know maybe they do. I’ve seen someone claim they’ve written a million words in the month. My question is always which words? Don’t let it overwhelm you or discourage you because:

3. Some days, the writing itself will be discouraging enough. It is tough to write every day. It is tough to write that much in a month, once the newness wears off. And it is typical, while working on something to get stuck and not know where to go. That can be discouraging. Just remember you can:

4. Always set a timer. See how many words you can type before the clock runs out. It’s a race with yourself that can get your brain going before it has time to worry or time to think. Once you get some momentum behind you, like most things, it builds on itself to get going. But if you find that still doesn’t work:

5. Take a break. Get some exercise, take a walk, watch a little bit of TV. Let your mind leave your book for the moment. Give your subconscious a chance to breathe, to work on it on its own. Something might inspire you during the time away from the work. Still not inspired? Well, then:

6. Do something you want to do even less than write. This one is my surefire fixer for procrastination. The minute I start in on the dishes, or cleaning the bathtub, or anything else I don’t actually want to do, inspiration tends to hit and hit hard. It’s like fighting procrastination with procrastination, and everyone knows there’s no stronger force in the universe.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

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11 thoughts on “Six NaNoWriMo Tips from a Veteran

  1. Thanks for the tips! As a first-time NaNo writer, I can use all the tips I can get. #5 sounds especially important, to rip yourself away from the computer and simply take a break. I’ve found that a lot of my ideas come from when I’m not actually writing. So if I’m stuck (as you described in #3), a break is very good medicine. Thanks!

    • Oh good luck, and I’m so glad you think they are useful 🙂 It’s very easy to get sucked in and feel like it’s your whole world, but yes, stepping away from it sometimes gives you exactly what you need.

      Hope you have a lot of fun next month 🙂

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