With NaNoWriMo coming up in a bit over a week, I feel it’s time again to talk NaNo strategy. NaNo is a behemoth of an event, and it really pays to go into it with a game plan. It’s especially important if, like me, you’re going to be a busy writer this November. So here is my guide to setting yourself up for a successful NaNoWriMo. If you have any other tips, add them in the comments!
Know when you’re going to write
For me, I write for an hour before breakfast. It’s a new addition to my writing schedule, and it allows me at least one hour I’m certain to have for writing. Knowing ahead of time when you’re going to write makes it easier to actually achieve writing in your day. If you wait for time to appear, it’s easy to keep putting it off and putting it off and never actually write anything.
Know what you’re going to write
Know before you start what you’re going to write. You don’t necessarily have to have a point by point outline of your whole novel. Just try to have an idea of what your story is about. Where is it going? Who is it about? What do you love about this idea? Are there certain scenes, moments, or bits of dialogue that you want to work in? It’s easier to write if you’re not jumping in completely blind.
If you have an opportunity to get ahead, take it
Never pass up an opportunity to get ahead, especially in the first part of the month. If you can write more than the average, do it. When you reach the middle of the month and you’re feeling burnt out or things outside of writing are piling up, having a buffer will take some of the stress out of those days, allowing you a break without getting behind.
Stick to your own plan
Everyone writes at different speeds. Some people write nonstop for the first week and finish before the month’s half over. Some people aim to write hundreds of thousands of extra words. Some people focus on making it to 50k. Whatever kind of speed you write at or goal you have, stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with other people. Nothing matters in NaNoWriMo except what you yourself are doing.
Write down ideas as they come
If an idea comes to you when you’re not working on your book, write it down. Use your phone, the back of a receipt, a note pad, anything you have to hand. But write down all the ideas that come to you. Then, when you’re tired or the inspiration has stopped flowing, you’ll have a source of ideas to sift through and add to your story, making those difficult days a little easier on yourself.
Be around awesome people like yourself
Buddy up with some motivated, productive people on the NaNoWriMo website, tap into the writing community on Twitter, or build your own little circle of writing friends. Being around people who are actively working towards their goals is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to write. Even when you don’t feel like writing, seeing someone else’s writing update can be the push you need to type a few words. Plus writers are the best at offering advice, support, or encouragement when you need it most.
Celebrate your victories
Celebrate your victories and take the time to feel good about your accomplishments. Brag on Twitter about a great writing day. Reward yourself with cake when you hit a milestone. Find some way to celebrate your amazing victories. NaNoWriMo is supposed to be fun. So find little ways to keep the fun in your writing.
And most of all, don’t stress. Enjoy yourself! You’ve got this. Whatever happens, you are amazing for setting out on this journey.
Want to join up with a fellow NaNoer? I’d love to connect with you! You could:
Buddy me on the NaNoWriMo website
Follow me on Twitter
Follow my profile on MyWriteClub
Let me know your username down below so I can follow you too! Let's smash this NaNoWriMo together!