National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.
To win you must write a 50,000 word novel—from scratch—in one month. To break it up, you have to write 1,667 words a day, every day, for thirty days straight.
That’s a lot of words. If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, how do you win? Here are five suggestions.
1. Write With Friends
Community can provide positive reinforcement. I belong to Romance Writers Of America and my Orange County Chapter and others have this contest every year.
2. Write Fast
Today, writing fast is the most important thing you can do. Quantity begets quality, so write quickly today.
3. Don’t Edit
Editing is essential. Don’t be one of those writers who submits their unedited NaNoWriMo novel to publishers on December 1. But November isn’t for editing. November is for writing. The Oxford Comma and misuse of your/you’re can wait for December.
4. Use a Timer
Your inner procrastinator may try to convince you otherwise, but there are only so many hours in November. Spend your time wisely by using a timer.
Set it for thirty minutes and see how many words you can write. Take a five minute break. Then, set it for another thirty minutes and see if you can beat your word count from last time.
5. This Isn’t Just About 50,000 Words
This is about mastering the craft of writing. Intrinsic motivation is always more powerful than extrinsic rewards, and becoming a master at something like writing is intrinsically good.
Every time you feel your energy flagging and procrastination taking over, ask yourself, “How can I get better today? What can I do to become a great writer today?”
Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Please post a comment and let me know how you are doing. If you have any writing tips, please share.
I must confess that my day job prevents me (yes, it is an excuse) from meeting my daily word count. UNLESS unless I am writing a novella (this year's personal challenge), or a YA novel. I know this keeps from participating in an actual contest but that isn't my real reason for participating. I participate to complete my stories.
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