There are just over two weeks (two weeks exactly when this post will go live, actually) and everyone who’s taking part in NaNoWriMo this year is counting down the moments until we attempt the insane challenge of writing our novels in one month*.
Two weeks, two more blog posts, ten school days or 360 hours, 36 minutes and 19 seconds until NaNoWriMo from 15th October 2021 at 15:24 PM.
*Cue nervous laughter.
NaNoWriMo is big-no huge-and quite frankly terrifying. But that’s not what NaNoWriMo should be about, it should be fun and exciting and make you feel motivated. So in an effort to make NaNoWriMo less terrifying and enjoyable here are ten tips to do just that.
You’re going to be writing a lot during NaNoWriMo and you’ll probably put writing in your top 3 priorities for November. But you probably won’t tell anyone you’re doing that or that you’re taking part in NaNoWriMo. (Or if you then you likely didn’t explain how important these things were to you.)
But you need to explain to your friends, family, roommates and anyone that could interrupt your writing time the significance of your writing time before NaNoWriMo commences so that they know not to disturb you. You have to remind them because it more than 23 minutes to refocus after someone interrupts you. Imagine you get interrupted 4-5 times a day. Add that together and that’s about 60 hours of writing time wasted on refocusing instead of being immersed in the scene.
Another form of distraction you should block out is the internet, any writer’s best friend and worst nightmare loaded up into one easily accessible, vast, creepy and helpful package.
To help you do this you can use the screen time app to block off all the applications you won’t need during your writing time if you have a Mac. If you’re like me and don’t have a Mac then you can use Freedom to block off those applications. If Freedom won’t work for you and you have Windows you can use their Time Limits toggle to block off certain applications as I will be doing.
Doing this allows you to reach and stay in the flow state longer meaning that you’ll be reaching your word count goals faster, and, more importantly, your writing will be on a higher level.
Live Like Your MC
The next thing that you can do to make NaNoWriMo more fun is to fully immerse yourself in the world you’re writing be it fantasy or contemporary. Swap out your bed sheets for some that your MC would love, get some flowers if they’re the vibe, play mood music…it’s seriously inspiring and is easy to do.
We all love to imagine ourselves in certain worlds with certain people and our characters hold just as special if not more special, of a place in our hearts so why not manifest them in our writing spaces as we write them?
Because you’ll have surrounded yourself with your book subconsciously you’ll always be thinking of the world when you’re around these…triggers? so you’ll almost always be in the writing mood when you sit down to crank out those words.
This will also help you relate better to your characters and therefore write them more easily and once more the writing will good quality writing.
Join A Support Group
As I said before NaNoWriMo is a huge deal that can be draining and at times demotivating so getting a little bit of support is never a bad idea. Having people encourage you and understand you along walk and crossroads in life and NaNoWriMo is no different.
In fact, I would advise you all to stay tuned for a little surprise coming to you this Thursday (it’s going to be awesome!) or if you’re from the future you can check it out here.
Inspiration is of Essence
You’re going to need your muse present throughout NaNoWriMo and we all have those days where it seems like we’re never going to hear from our imaginary friends again. I found that having playlists that are the mood of the scenes as well as keeping Pinterest boards and funny tidbits that remind me of my characters make me feel much more inspired so maybe you guys can spend this coming weekend curating things to inspire you.
Fill Your Cup
You’re going to be emptying yourself into your novel for hours on end this coming NaNoWriMo, you’re going to be expanding a lot of your inspiration onto paper (well, into a word processor for me but potato potato*).
So be sure to care for yourself and refill your cup so that you don’t get burnt out because if you do get burnt out you’re not going to enjoy next month at all and that would suck. Make sure that you’re actually eating-and good, healthy food, don’t put sleep on the back burner-yeah sure you can cut back on it but you need to get more than 6 hours of sleep a day. You and your health come first.
*Be honest, how many of you read those the exact same way? How many of you even know the other way to say it? I certainly don’t.
Break NaNoWriMo Down
The idea of writing 50 000 words in a month makes me weak in the knees, much as I enjoy a challenge. But writing roughly 11 670 words a week better yet 1667 words a day isn’t so bad. Most writers average about 300-500 words per 25-minute word sprint.
Obviously, this may not be true for you but it’s probably close. Depending on how much outlining you did, how fast you personally write and if you don’t stop writing because of interruptions (such as people and making tea) you only have to do 2.5 hours of writing to write 1800 words every day. Not bad at all.
And lastly but definitely the most important…
Yes, it’s going to be challenging and yes, you are trying to “beat” NaNoWriMo but you should make next month an enjoyable experience, you should have fun with your writing. It’s not about the word count at the end of the day (or in this case, month). Make your NaNoWriMo fun and memorable, don’t obsess over the words rather just write a good book.
Remember to check back Thursday, 21st October 2021 for that surprise I mentioned and be sure to share this post with someone else who could benefit from it.
Before you go let everyone know what your tips are for having an awesome NaNoWriMo and how you’re feeling about NaNo being so close!
Note: I want to apologise for the lateness of this post, everyone! I’m really so sorry-life has been a lot hectic lately between NaNo prep, exam prep and my grandmother was experiencing some heart issues, however, she’s all good now!
Thanks so much for all your support and understanding, have a great week and enjoy life!