How to do NaNoWriMo

“By giving you no choice but to press on, NaNoWriMo heads off most of your excuses and forces you to see what you’re capable of writing.”

How I did it: I was talked into it by a friend who had done it the previous year. I had an idea that I’d been toying with for some time so I dove in and worked hard at it. It ended up taking 1-2 hours a day to hit my word count quotas, but I made room (while going to grad school, no less!) Unless you’re in a very serious crunch time in your life, I think this is doable. 

Lessons & tips:

  • Signing up on the website, while not essential, is extremely helpful. There are lots of resources there and connecting with other writers can be motivating. In my case, I found that watching my numbers go higher on the bar graph kept me wanting to do more. 
  • Have a decent plan but don’t be afraid to deviate from it. There are books and websites (that one’s for the snowflake method, one approach that could help you get started) to refer to. 
  • I found that the scrivener software made organizing my novel much easier. There are even promotions for it so that you can use it for free during nanowrimo and then buy it later at a discount if you complete your 50,000 words 
  • Be realistic – This is a good first step, but you probably won’t be able to ship off the end product of your nanowrimo to get professionally published. If you want to go all the way, you’ll need to do a fair amount of editing and beefing up of your manuscript before it’s ready for prime time.  
  • It’s ok to suck – I had to give myself permission to write without worrying if it was good or bad. At the pace of NaNoWriMo, this is pretty essential. You will have all the time you want to take to make it better later.   

Resources:

See links above

  • Scrivener Writing Software 
  • Nanowrimo.org website 
  • Various Books and Blogs 

It took me 30 days.

It made me Excited

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