It's the most wonderful time of the year... November is upon us, and that means National Novel Writing Month! (See my last post for why I think NaNoWriMo is a good thing). If this is your first year doing it, here are my top five pieces of advice, in honor of my fifth year participating.
1.) Pace yourself. Don't write like mad in the first week and get 25,000 words down only to realize you're too burnt-out to continue. Figure out how much you tend to write in one sitting, and go from there.
For example, my writing pace is about 1,000 words at a time, give or take a little. To write 50,000 words in a month, I have to write about 1,600 words a day, which I would probably spread between two sessions. Depending on how busy you are, you might need to spread it out more, but whatever you do, be consistent. Having a routine is a powerful defense against writer's block.
2.) Don't worry too much about that first draft. Some people think it has to be perfect the first time, but let me tell you a secret: that's impossible. There is not one person on this planet that can make a perfect first draft, so chuck that idea out the window, right now. You can edit a bad page—you can't edit a blank one. Just write, and...
3.) ... have fun! Having fun is central to doing NaNoWriMo. If you're not having fun, it will show in your writing.
4.) Edit in January. This may seem unrelated at first, but I know how hard it is from experience not to launch right in to editing that brand-new (admittedly messy) piece of art you created during November. This goes for writing other times of the year, too. The point is to wait at least a month, so you can look at it with new eyes when the time comes. Plus, have you any idea how hard it is to edit during the holidays? Just wait 'till January. ;)
5.) Do plenty of whatever inspires or fuels you. Love nature? Go for a walk. Are you a foodie? Keep a handy supply of chocolate nearby to reward yourself with when you finish your daily word goal. I like to listen to music and watch movies to fill my Inspiration Meter.
So there you have it: my five best pieces of advice for new Wrimos. I hope they help you survive (and win)! the extraordinary month of November.
Welcome to Katelyn Buxton Books! I'm a Christian author and blogger, with a passion for writing stories that are not just enjoyable, but also lead people to Jesus. Feel free to look around, and enjoy your stay!