Writing 50,000 words in 30 days can seem like herculean feat only to be accomplished by the most prolific of scribes. However, it’s a feat that over 400,000 people attempt every November during National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo.
There is no denying that it is a lofty goal, but it’s not impossible. How can we be sure? Well, for one we have entire Freedom community that never ceases to inspire us with their creations – whether that be novels, films, scripts, dissertations, symphonies, start-ups, or
dinner. We believe in human’s singular ability to create against all odds.
So as we gear up for the month of November, here are a few tips we’ve gathered to ensure that your NaNoWriMo experience is a true success.
- Get Started. “A journey of a thousands miles must begin with a single step” – Laozi
- The hardest part of NaNoWriMo, much like any other daunting undertaking, is simply starting. Whether you’re a published author, or simply curious about the idea – first thing you need to do is sign-up! After that, the fun begins. Carry a notebook with you and scribble down plot points and characters, do a freeflow write, think of titles, and be careful not to judge your brainstorming too critically. Bad ideas lead to better ones. Do whatever it takes to get the ball rolling and the rest will follow one step at a time. For a full explanation of NaNoWriMo and the sign-up process – check out our previous post here.
- Create a Schedule.
- November has 30 days, so in order to write 50,000 words in 30 days, you have to average around 1,667 words a day. Or, if you prefer a weekly goal that’s roughly 12,500 words a week. We know, the numbers are scary. But having a plan and a schedule will ease your anxiety and minimize the stress of falling behind.
- You know your schedule and work habits best. Be realistic about your time and schedule and don’t underestimate your commitments. To help, here are two pace-planning options for you to use throughout the month: one digital – Pacemaker Planner and the other a printable calendar made by Dave Seah, a former NaNoWriMo participant.
- Join the community
- One of NaNoWriMo’s greatest benefits is its massive network of writers. Find your region, participate in local events, join the conversation in the forums, and find a writing buddy, (NaNo stats have shown that those who have writing buddies or twice as likely to complete the challenge.) Give yourself as many reasons as possible to remain engaged and motivated throughout the month – it’ll help pull you through when the going gets tough.
- Get the tools the pros are using
- Making sure you have the right tools to write is key. Here are some of the tools past NaNoWriMos and authors love:
- For peak efficiency + productivity
- Ambient sounds + music for focus and calm
- Learn from those who came before you
- Lucky for you this is NaNoWriMo’s 18th year, which means that there are thousands of people who have chosen to walk this path before you. You’re not alone and there are plenty of people and resources out there that can better prepare you. Last year we had the opportunity to interview two best-selling authors, Farrah Rochon, and Eloisa James and got their best tips, techniques, and writing advice.
- Also be sure to check out NaNo’s pep-talks for practical advice, insight, and inspiration from writing experts and best-selling authors.
Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? What’s the best advice you received? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or tweet at us @Freedom