Nat’s NaNo Quick Tips! by Natalie
It’s that beautiful time of year again when the trees change color, pumpkin spice and salted caramel scents fill homes, the air has a crisp coolness to it and we are given perhaps our greatest writing challenge yet: write 50k words in just 30 days! Such a daunting task it seems, but I can assure you that it’s not as scary as it appear to be. With the proper mindset and planning (or lack thereof) anyone can make it through the marathon for writers we call NaNoWriMo.
The first, and perhaps most obvious tip I have, is to just begin and keep going no matter what. Once you get your feet wet in the word count I assure you it’ll flow easier. Like any momentum, it’s hard to get yourself going but carries its own motion well. Even if you missed a few days and think it’s all over, or haven’t started until the second week, don’t give up! This is a self-challenge, so you should give it everything you got and not look back!
Calculation is key! Doing an exact calculation of the word count you need to meet per day is very important to keeping you on track and even giving you some confidence while taking on the challenge. Simple calculations along the way if you get behind or ahead are also helpful to keep you on the right pace. If you want to get done sooner, that’s always an option as well.
Don’t procrastinate or brush off writing! If there was ever a time to learn how to stick to a schedule and keep something on track, it’s now! I suggest planning to utilize any free moments you have during the day to write. On the bus, sitting and watching television, or even after the house has gone quiet and you can focus on your word count goal for the day. Last year, I wrote more during the 1-2am hours than any other time; there are no excuses!
Preventing writer’s block during NaNoWriMo seems to be one of the hottest topics for writers; and it’s completely understandable. A sudden bout of writer’s block can seriously strain your goal and efforts to reach it. The CWC blog will be posting prompts every day for 30 days, and I highly suggest using them. Even if it has nothing to do with your story, every word counts! Listening to a compilation of scary/beautiful/emotional/dramatic instrumental music really helped to keep my brain working last year and I would recommend it to anyone! Remember: we’re going for quantity, not quality! You have 11 months afterwards to edit and maybe even completely rewrite the story to your liking.
This essay is a very small portion of all the NaNo help you can find on the interwebz! The NaNoWriMo website has some really helpful stuff on it from videos to prompts and a great community supporting each other. However you approach this challenge, just know that the entire CWC club is cheering you on!
Good luck and have just have fun with it!