If today is Halloween (and it is), that means that tomorrow is the start of NaNoWriMo! We're fortunate to have a guest blogger today who has been around the NaNoWriMo block a time or two. Kris Noel is a young adult author and champion of NaNoWriMo writers. Visit her blog to take advantage of her great tips and motivational posts and keep up with her on Twitter. Thanks, Kris, for kicking off NaNoWriMo at the Book Pound.
Staying on Track During NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo is just beginning and I’m sure there are a million questions swirling around in your head. For first timers, it might seem impossible. How will I ever finish my novel on time? What happens if I can’t write one day? How will I find the motivation to keep going? NaNoWriMo is a challenge and you can do it if you learn how to plan effectively.
Here are a few ways to stay on track during the month of November!
Keep Readjusting Your Plans
Trying to write a novel in a month is as difficult as it sounds. Life will get in the way and you’ll need to expect the unexpected. Don’t get bummed if you can’t write for a day, but be willing to readjust your plans. This includes that direction your story is going in. If you want to stay motivated, brainstorming sessions will help to get you back on track.
Cheer Yourself On
During NaNoWriMo, it’s important to be your own biggest fan. Once you start giving into doubts about reaching your goals, they’ll become harder to achieve. You have to remember how great you are for writing a novel in a month. It’s something to be proud of and you have every right to feel good about your involvement in NaNoWriMo. Let it motivate you!
Write in Intervals
You might think it’s impossible to finish NaNoWriMo without a large chunk of time to set aside each day. Keep in mind that quick 10-20 minute writing sessions can make all the difference. The best way to tackle NaNowWriMo is to take the ‘write when you can’ approach. Short writing sessions add up and they’ll feel less intrusive than sitting down for an hour or two at a time.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If you need to take a break one day—don’t hesitate to do it. You need to take care of yourself first. Don’t force yourself to write if you’re feeling really down or there’s something else important that demands your attention. Your health is much more important than NaNoWriMo.
The month of November is not the time to edit your novel! There’s barely enough time to get the writing part done, so ignore the editing process until you’re done with your first draft. Editing will just slow you down and you’ll never get your novel done on time. Don’t stress about this draft being perfect—it’s all about getting your ideas down on paper!
Why writers participate in NaNoWriMo varies, so keep your own goals in mind during the month of November. Whether you want to prove you can finish a novel in a month or it’s all about the word count, do what makes you happy. Good luck!