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.
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?