It’s hard to believe that nearly twelve months has passed since the last National Novel Writing Month but alas, it has.
Are you thinking of taking part in NaNoWriMo? Is the thought of hitting 50,000 words daunting to you?
Here are some of my tips to get you through;
1. Outline –
I’m not an outliner. Usually I tend to just go with the flow of things and follow my nose as well as my thoughts. With only having 30 days to write in it’s useful to have some sort of ‘map’ to guide you. Working from the blank page alone each time without the guarantee of a muse can be incredibly hard at best. Without one, there is always a risk of burning out. You might be on a roll all the way to Chapter Six but by that time your ideas might dry up. NaNo is a great excuse for practising outlining for me. Sometimes I forget just how useful it can be.
2. Commit Yourself –
Just like losing weight or starting a new hobby writing takes commitment. You can do many things but without it your ambition will fizzle into nothing. In order to succeed you have to make sure you plan your time efficiently. If you say you are going to write at such and such a time make sure you sit down and do it. Turn off your mobile, disconnect from Facebook and Twitter and switch yourself off from any distractions. It always helps to have a ritual. I make myself a hot drink before I start and read what I wrote the day before. It helps to refresh your memory and can stir up some new ideas that you weren’t aware of before. Bottom line; whatever you set yourself to, stick to it.
3. Set A Reasonable Word Count
The maximum word count required to reach 50,000 is 1,667 a day but many people use that as a guideline and write more. Some write 500 words on a lunch break, another when they get home and then before they go to bed. Some write straight for a couple of hours. As long as it is manageable it is doable. Don’t aim too high. The disappointment might knock you off course. I aim for the guideline and if I hit that I question how further I can go. That differs from person to person. Do what feels best for you.
4. Give Yourself Permission To Write Terribly
For any hopes of a successful draft you have to shut off that inner critic along with your inner editor. Many writers fall at this hurdle because they struggle to write absolutely awful. You can strive for perfection later on. Get the words down onto the page. Those words will build up into a novel in good time. We, as writers, focus on perfection and that’s ok. It will come of use later when editing.
5. Don’t Forget To Enjoy The Process –
Writing is meant to be fun, not a chore.
I hope this can be of some use to you.
Saying a big hello to my new followers. Nice to have you on board.
Have agreat week!
With thanks to Florian Klauer via Unsplash.com for the image