NaNoWriMo—Tips For Getting Started
November is here, and for those of you participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), it’s time to buckle down and get cracking on that 50,000-word novel!
Whether new to NaNoWriMo or a veteran, it can be daunting settling in to the new routine of typing approximately 1,666 words each day, and these first few days are especially important, for if you hit a roadblock early on, it can be easy to give up on the notion all together and say you’ll try again next year. But don’t throw in the towel yet! We’re here to walk you through some tips to help you get settled in that new routine and crank out that novel.
Pick a time to write that’s the same each day
Participating in NaNoWriMo is like starting a new habit, and for those of you who don’t already have a regular writing routine, writing a 50,000-word novel in one month can be an intense challenge. But like setting any habit, the best practice is to form a schedule and stick with it. Choose a time that’s roughly the same each day to set aside for your writing. This will help develop a routine and prevent skipping days, which is not a recommended practice, even if you bargain with yourself you’ll make up the word count later. Set a certain time of day aside just for NaNoWriMo and commit to writing at least 1,500 words.
Get rid of distractions
After choosing your designated writing time, eliminate distractions so that you can make the most of your time. Let your partner/family/roommates/pets know this is your time for your novel and not to distract you. Set your phone in another room. For those of you who find yourself easily distracted by the Internet, you can even download a desktop app called Self Control that allows you to blacklist certain websites for a set amount of time so you cannot access them. Or you can use the whitelist option and block all websites except certain ones you pre-approve. Then set the timer for however long you need and off you go!
The important thing during this beginning stage isn’t quality but quantity; you’re just getting yourself in the habit of writing 1,500 words every day. Don’t get too bogged down on your character development or plot at this point; rather, focus just on making that daily word count. Use those 1,500 words to describe a forest, or a person, or a conversation, it doesn’t matter what. The point is to get words on paper. Once you become comfortable with this practice each day, your novel will flow naturally on its own. Remember, the whole point of NaNoWriMo isn’t to create a ready-to-publish manuscript, but a rough draft, like a mound of clay ready for molding. The editing will come later, so right now if you need to spend some extra words describing a tree because you don’t know where else to take your story, then do it!
Interested in publishing your NaNoWriMo novel?
This year, Light of the Moon, Inc. is offering a special NaNoWriMo publishing package for completed NaNoWriMo novels! The package includes professional editing, layout and design, and five printed copies of your book! Sign up before the end of November!
Learn more by contacting us today: firstname.lastname@example.org