In honor of the start of NaNoWriMo I have been doing what any decent participant is doing at this time of year- Prepping. That means new notebooks and pens, new outlines and vision boards, new schedules and planners, it is my “new” year.
Before we move forward, please take a moment to like and follow this blog. Also, take advantage of a great promotion from SkillShare and get TWO MONTHS of SkillShare Premium for FREE! This is a great chance to learn your craft from the pros and improve your writing, editing, and marketing.
If you are new to NaNoWriMo or simply new here you may be wondering what you can do to make NaNoWriMo a success for you. There’s a lot of advice out there on this topic but it all boils down to THREE basic ideas.
- PLAN! Plan everything. If you are a pantser, NaNoWriMo is not the time to continue this habit. Even if your characters take you in a vastly different direction than the one you envisioned (as mine often do) it’s still best to take the time to write down at least a basic outline of what you expect to happen in this story. This way, on the days when your energy is low and ideas seem to have dried up, you can refer back to your outline and push through.
- ORGANIZE! You are going to need two or three hours a day to write. SOme of you are superstars and can write 1667 words in an hour. I am not. I make sure that I have cleared away enough time from each day to allow the writing to happen. Sometimes that means forgoing sleep. Sometimes that means giving up Netflix time. Regardless of the sacrifice, if writing is something you want to do, you need to MAKE time for it in your life.
- CONNECT! This is my great downfall. I have written during NaNoWriMo before, but I failed to connect with the community of writers. As writers, we tend to be introverts. And those, like myself, who aren’t introverted tend to have a hard time connecting with real people since so much of what we love involves sitting still and silent in a room alone. However, finding your tribe is important. Other writers are a resource, an encouragement, and a saving grace for you during the long and (sometimes) torturous hours of writing and (gasp) editing. Take advantage of the forums, websites, twitter feeds and groups forming at this time and keep in touch.
Here is a great post with some more great tips to help you succeed this November. Some of them may help you and others not so much (there’s literally one that says outline and another that says don’t outline) but a few are sure to help you along the way.
And here are a few thoughts on writing diversity and why we should all be doing it (and doing it well, dammit).