It’s November 1st, day one of NaNoWriMo, I have my story freshly plotted out and outlined. I’ve been waiting all year to participate in NaNo, after the success of my first year. I feel more confident now, ready to write, but November drags on and before I know it it’s November 3rd and I have 500 words on the page. I’ve hit a wall, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The words aren’t falling onto the page like they usually do and I’m falling behind day by day. So I’m stuck and in a dilemma; power through, drop out, or start a new, none are sounding too appetizing right now, but I have to do something. I’ve been preparing for NaNo for months. This is my schedule time to write, my me time, and yet the words escape me. So I make a brash decision to start over from scratch, 5,001 words behind, three days into the challenge and thirty-seven days left to complete it.
It’s crazy, but I finished that year. That was the year I wrote the draft for my soon to be first novel, to be published this next year. That’s the cool thing about NaNo, there is no wrong way to prepare for it. Whether you plan your novel idea months in advance or just pick up and run with an idea on day one. The challenge is not focused on simply regurgitating 50,000 words onto the page and hitting the finish button. It’s about setting aside real time to work and craft your story into something tangible. Sure, finishing is nice, but don’t focus on the word count. Trust me, just because you have a 50,000-word draft doesn’t mean all the hard work is over. Same goes to the writers who write under 50,000 words, your story is complete when it tells you. You are not bound by the word count of your project, focus instead on crafting a well-written story, one that captures the vision in your mind.
So, you’re probably getting pretty excited about starting NaNo. The NaNo staff have begun their prep and you’re pumped about attending the kick-off celebration or maybe you’re still a little nervous. Regardless of where you stand, here are some helpful tips for making the most out of your NaNo experience next month.
1. Plan. Doesn’t matter if you do it months in advance or in a day, a simple outline will go a long way and help you with pacing.
2. Check Out Your Resources. Regardless of where you are on this beautiful blue Earth, you are not alone. There are people standing by to help you, via the NaNoWriMo forums or in person at one of the meetings. No meetings in person in your area? No problem. Their online support community is extremely helpful. And DON’T forget to check your NaNo mail, there are lots of goodies in there waiting for you.
3. NO EDITING. November is not the time to edit. This is the time to get your ideas out, you’ll have plenty of time later to correct that sentence or fix that plot hole.
4. Write Every Day. Doesn’t have to be the recommended 1,667 words, 100 or even 50 is better than nothing. The challenge is designed to get you into the habit of writing.
5. Have Fun. Plain and simple. Writing is your passion and November is your month to shine. Enjoy it.
I hope this helps. Remember, don’t stress and have fun, because there is no wrong way to NaNo!
Sign up now at NaNoWriMo.org today!
The fun starts November 1st!