writing

Writers Write, Right? || The (Un)Official Guide to Surviving NaNoWriMo

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As anyone who has ever done it knows, NaNoWriMo is insanely fun and yet also insanely hard. And stressful. And, that sometimes you just need a little extra push. And so, I have created this: The (Un)Official Guide to Surviving NaNoWriMo.

BRIBE YOURSELF

I’m serious. A little bribery can do wonders. What I do is that I tell myself that every 1k words I can eat one piece of my Halloween candy, every 10k words I can eat one of the king-sized ones, and every 25k I can buy myself a paperback book. Works wonders! Set a word count that you get to have a treat; maybe a $6 cup of fancy coffee you’d normally never order, or a new book, or a piece of a bar of dark chocolate. Anything, really.

TAKE A BREAK

Sitting and staring at a computer for longer than an hour or so can get hard. So stretch. Jog around the block. Walk the dog. Every hour take a ten minute break, and you’ll come back feeling refreshed.

TRULY LOVE WHAT YOU’RE WRITING

If you’re writing something you can’t stand, you’re going to dread sitting down to do NaNoWriMo. Which isn’t good. And if you don’t like what you’re writing, you won’t have any ideas, and if you don’t have any ideas, you’ll dread sitting down to do NaNoWriMo, and if you dread sitting down to do NaNoWriMo, you won’t like what you’re writing. It’s a big circle.

DON’T PANIC IF YOU FALL BEHIND

Panicking will only put a mental block over your muse. It’s like when you’re mad and you can’t think straight.

STAY AWAY FROM LOTS OF COFFEE BEFORE YOU WRITE

A caffeine high does not mean good writing, believe me. You’ll be too jittery to sit still. Stick to one cup of coffee or one cup of tea, and don’t drink espresso, either. Trust me…three cups of EXTREMELY STRONG English Breakfast and I had to go jogging before I was calm enough to concentrate on my writing.

IF YOUR CHARACTERS WANT TO DO SOMETHING, LET THEM

Don’t fight it. Maybe YOU’RE DYING to have you characters do something that wasn’t in an original plan. Just sit back and let the writing do the writing.

How’re my fellow Wrimos? What’s your word count so far? What’s your novel about? Is this your first year doing NaNoWriMo or have you been doing for years?

Happy Monday,

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15 thoughts on “Writers Write, Right? || The (Un)Official Guide to Surviving NaNoWriMo

  1. I like all the points you’ve made, but I especially agree on the last one. When I first wrote a story that was longer than 2 pages, I was surprised when my characters started doing things that I never intended for them to do. But you shouldn’t fight it, and it most cases you can’t. They weirdly have a head of their own.
    I am tooootally behind on my word count but I am not surprised. I was so tired from the kick-off event that I slept almost the entire day yesterday. I have a bit more than 400 words now, but as I said, I am not worried. I outlined the story a little bit and I really got to know my characters and even introduced them all on my blog to get some feedback. It will come to me πŸ™‚ I am sure.

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    1. You went to the kick-off event? I’m jealous. I was going to go but I also wanted to go trick-or-treating and it was one or the other. I’m planning on going to the halfway party, though.

      And good luck! I’m sure you’ll get a sudden burst of muse.

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      1. It was fun! It started at like 10 PM and we were all supposed to dress up as literary characters. I went as Shadowhunter, but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it and I looked more like a goth witch ahahaha.
        You should go to the halfway party though! I always like to connect with the fellow NaNoWriMos πŸ™‚
        And thank you! Good luck to you as well, although you seem to be right on track πŸ˜‰

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      2. Well, a goth witch is cool. Kind of like Lydia from Beetlejuice, though she isn’t really a WITCH, exactly. And it’s nice, I don’t many wrimos in real life. That’s why I want to go the party.

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  2. Awesome tips! I so wish I were doing NaNo this month but unfortunately do not have the time for it. But I really agree with your tips and particularly love the bribery one πŸ˜‰ Totally gonna do that for Camp next year. Oh and as for loving what, you write- making love lists of what I love about my story really helped me finish and get to 50k last time! πŸ™‚

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