How To Take On NaNoWriMo

Preptober is upon us! It's that scary, frantic time before NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who don't know) where we start wondering what we'll be writing, second-guessing the project, frantically plotting a whole new idea (I'm looking to you Dee with our 'ten days before nano let's plot a new project'), wondering if you should pants or plot. The list could go on.

Here are some tips and tricks to get through NaNo:

Create a word tracker. I know the site has a tracker, but sometimes it helps do up your own kind of tracker. I like to use my bullet journal to keep track of what my word count should be for the day/week, and I track the words I write per day. Since I’m working on two projects, having multiple trackers available, rather than having to constantly change accounts, works well for me. I have some examples below on how I track word count.

Reward yourself. You don’t have to go out and buy fancy things in order to reward yourself. That will cost money (and that’s certainly something I don’t have a lot of, along with many of you). So, come up with alternatives. For me, that looks like time to play the Sims 4, read, and ‘free time’ (aka probably more Sims 4 time). For some of you, NaNo can be stressful. Not only that, but you can lose motivation halfway through. Every 5,000 words, take a break, read a book or watch a movie, and give yourself some time to unwind and refill that creative well.

Take time off. Yep. 30 days of writing non-stop can be hectic. Stressful. After about a week you might start feeling drained. Allocate yourself days where you’re allowed to rest. Of course, that might mean you have to write more on other days. But if you have specific NaNo days set up, then making up word count shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Word sprints. During NaNo, word sprints get me through the hard days. Sitting down, either in a group or on my own, turning on the timer, and writing for 15min, 20min, sometimes for a straight hour, really helps pump words out quicker. Use the Pomodoro technique (25min sprint, 5min break, 25min sprint, 5min break, repeat), join online writing groups (or even in person!) for live sprints, YouTubers in the authortube community also do live write ins with sprints. Whatever works for you.

The community. If you aren’t apart of some kind of writers group, go join one! I, myself, am a part of a couple (on Instagram, Facebook), and they are vital for me to do well during NaNo. The NaNoWriMo website has a community tab where you can talk to others in your genre, in your local area, whatever you need, it’s there. NaNoWriMo isn’t just about writing words. It’s about creating connections and participating as a community. Without the support of these writing communities, I don’t think as many people would win NaNo. So look on their site, look into Facebook groups, check YouTube for scheduled live write-ins (NaNo has a channel where they host sprints), even Twitter and Instagram. You might be surprised by what you find!

And there you have it. Some tips and tricks on how to approach and survive NaNoWriMo! Know of something that should be on the list and isn’t? Comment it down below for others to see!

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