My NaNoWriMo tip: Write and don’t look back

Every November 1, writers from around the world join NaNoWriMo in a race to complete 50,000 words of their next novel in thirty days.  Some do it for the bragging rights and prizes.  Others do it for the challenge, while others participate simply because they like to write.  Whatever the motivation, writers at every skill level align themselves with others to prove that writing a novel in 30 days is not only daunting, but entirely possible.  What is one of the main keys to succeeding at NaNO?

Write and don’t look back.

For authors who crave perfection in seeing every scene carefully scripted, this idea may seem foreign.  You know the writers I’m talking about: the ones that have to edit every sentence as it’s written.  The one that has to fix every scene as it unfolds.  That’s the great thing about NaNoWriMo.  It isn’t about perfection. It’s about writing.  It’s about getting your ideas, plots and characters on paper or computer.  It’s about learning to let go and allowing your creative side to take control.  It’s about writing, not editing.

Will your novel be publishable at the end?  Probably not, but you’ll have a solid foundation to work from.  Many people begin plotting their novels in October to avoid major edits in the end.  Others fly by the seat of their pants and let the story unfold at their fingertips.  Whatever the method, the key to successfully finishing NaNoWriMo is to write.  Write, write, write.  Don’t revise.  Don’t try to keep up with others who are pumping out 5000 words a day. Embrace the writer in you.  Set your goal and stick with it.  Keep moving forward through the plot holes.  Can’t remember if your character has blue or green eyes?  Who cares?  You can fix it later.  Write your heart out and don’t look back, and enjoy the journey along the way.

What tips do you find that help you get through NaNo?  I’d love to hear your tips.

7 thoughts on “My NaNoWriMo tip: Write and don’t look back

  1. Great advice. This is precisely what I’m doing for the first time in my life. I’m one of “the ones that have to edit every sentence as it’s written. The one that has to fix every scene as it unfolds.”
    I’m finding that I’m churning out absolute crap. All tell, no show. On Nov 30, it’s going to be a highly detailed, full length outline of the story I really want to tell. I can feel a complete rewrite coming on… 😉
    Back to it!


    1. Ahh, but there is something liberating about just writing, don’t you think? Plus, I find it encouraging to know that we CAN write 50,000 words in 30 days. I can’t use ‘it can’t be done’ as an excuse to procrastinate.

      Good luck, Rich. I’ll hunt for you on NaNo.


    1. I used to and then had to force myself to stop. now, if I don’t put all my words down at the time they come to me, I forget them. Old age or trained mind? I don’t know.


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