6 things I have learned about NaNoWriMo

After attempting (and losing) NaNoWriMo two years in a row, I’ve learned a few things. Your mileage may vary.

  1. Do not, unless under emergency circumstances say “Oh, I’m about a thousand words short, but I’ll catch up tomorrow” If you start doing this, you will do this tomorrow, and the next day, and you’ll get terribly behind.
  2. write every day. Well, this kinda falls under the first one, but oh well.
  3. Do not write  all of your words for the day at one time. It’s not fun. Write a few in the morning, a few in the afternoon, and a few at night. Or something like that.
  4. Do word wars. Follow @NaNoWordSprints on twitter to get, you guessed it, word sprints directly from the NaNo staff. You can also follow other people who are doing NaNo to get word wars. There’s a great list of NaNo people on twitter here http://twitter.com/simplywriting/nanowrimo
  5. If you tell yourself that you’re going to write 5,000 words tomorrow, write 5,000 words tomorrow.
  6. The “Week 2 Blues”? More like the 12k-20k blues. I firmly believe that it’s not week two, but that point in your novel where you have no idea where you’re going.

Again, your mileage may and probably will vary.

So that’s it. Have you done NaNo? Feel free to share how it went in the comments!


One Comment to “6 things I have learned about NaNoWriMo”

  1. I’m a speed writer and I enjoy the challenge of falling behind. This may sound dreadful for long-term success and certainly it IS so, which is why I don’t generally practice procrastination on things like Term Papers and Juried Performances in the music school. 😉

    However, my success in NaNoWriMo this year was largely due to the sheer pleasure I experienced from having only a few days the entire month in which to write, and being forced to write multiple thousands of words per hour/per day in order to succeed.

    Our mileage varies, but your principles are great!

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