I’ve been asked to give some tips for first time NaNoWriMo-ers. I may have mentioned some of these before, but these are my top 10 NaNo tips whether it’s your first or your fiftieth time.
- Get as far ahead of the daily target as you can in week 1 while you’re running on adrenaline. Week 2 is tough, and having a good margin will help you enormously.
- Turn off the television. If you think you can write in front of the tv you are just kidding yourself.
- Treat yourself for reaching goals. Put your favourite chocolate bar, cake, beer, or whatever your vice is, on the table in front of you while you write. Don’t allow yourself to have it until you’ve written your daily word target.
- Be strict on yourself. Sit down and tell yourself you will write for 20mins, or 30mins, or an hour. Actually do it.
- Don’t do it alone. Whether you meet up with people in real life, or meet up with people online; make friends, encourage each other, motivate each other, compete against each other.
- Compete against your writing buddies. Each day, check the word counts of your writing buddies. Decide whose wordcount you’re going to try and beat, then do it.
- Take part in word wars (also known as word sprints.) Either meet up with friends or play with people online. Agree on an amount of time (20 mins, 1 hour, 24 hours) and at the end of that time, see who’s written the most words.
- Don’t take more than one day off in a row. Don’t feel guilty about taking the odd day off, but if you make it two days off it’ll be harder to get back into it. Three days, and you’ll really struggle.
- Trust your characters. Whether you’re an outliner or a discovery writer, you can often find your characters leading your story off in a direction you didn’t expect. Let them explore, you may find out that they have had a better idea than you did!
- Just keep going. Not everyone will hit their 50k target, but that doesn’t mean they’ve failed at all. By carrying on until the end of the month you have achieved an incredible feat no matter what your word count. The only true failure is giving up.
But my most important tip is to have fun! Good luck everyone!
This. This. THIS.