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NaNoWriMo or Bust

Posted on 11/25/17 in Writing

I absolutely love NaNoWriMo. I heard about it years ago from a friend, but I participated for the first time last year and was unsuccessful in completing a book in a month. This year has been just as much a struggle as last year, but the benefit to me is that it pushes me to dedicate time to writing to try to meet the daily goal.

The NaNoWriMo website allows you to enter the word count you hope to accomplish and tells you how many words you must accomplish each day in order to finish by the end of the month. There are three types of badges that you can earn along the way: participation, writing, and personal achievement. The participation badges are related to your level of participation with NaNoWriMo, such as whether you create a profile, join a local region, or add a writing buddy. The writing badges are achieved by hitting certain “word count” milestones and updating the word count consistently. You receive a personal achievement badge once you identify yourself as a pantser, planner, or a plantser, which reflects your approach to writing.

I think NaNoWriMo helps me by visually showing me where I am relative to my goal and even if I don’t hit the goal within a month, it pushes me forward and closer to a finished book.

If you are also a writer, here are some tips on finishing your first novel:

Set a goal

You can set a goal to write for a specific amount of time or like NaNoWriMo set a goal to complete a specific word count each day. The amount of time and word count can change from day to day based on other activities you have going on, so don’t feel like it has to be a set number for each twenty-four hour period. We all live in a fast-paced and busy world so make the numbers work for your schedule.

Set time each day to write.

Whatever calendaring system you use, make sure to schedule time for writing. If other things come up during your writing time, allow yourself to be flexible. Don’t allow other things to serve as obstacles that block your path. Instead, view them as detours that redirect you to another time to sit and write. Remember the most important thing – you control your life. This means you control every second, every minute, every hour. So be a creator in your life and create those agile schedules.  I have one full-time job and three part time jobs (this doesn’t include being a wife and mother), so if I can do it, you can do it.

Eliminate distractions.

Find a place that you can focus on your story. If the place is at home, make sure those you live with know not to bother you during your writing time. For me, listening to music is a distraction. If I did incorporate music, I think it would be classical (without words). However, I know several writers who listen to mainstream music while they write, so try writing with and without music and see what works for you.

Happy Writing!

Tagged with: Goals, Nanowrimo