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.
I am writing this from the field of battle. Words are flying all around me, characters are battling one another. Swords are clanging, magic spells are colliding. My literary compass is pointing to “most excellent” in the land of NaNoWriMo. I’m off to a decent start.
My favorite passage in my W.I.P. so far?
“How do you know they were stolen by the fae, hmm? Have you witnessed a thieving? Have you seen a maiden laid upon an altar? Have you seen the great dragon devour a damsel with your own eyes?”
Title of my W.I.P. : SUMMERFIRTH
Inspirational Quote of the day: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Goals for today: reach 3500 words.
Distractions hindering my writing: I had two sides of an ingrown toenail removed Wednesday. It’s throbbing and hurts, especially when one of the 3 dogs steps on it, like what happened just now. Can anyone say OUCH!
What’s on the agenda outside of NaNoWriMo? Start making my homemade vanilla extract for the holidays. Buy dog food. Stockpile some words so I can go to Busch Gardens (if my toe cooperates).
Random thoughts: My prayers go out to everyone who was in the path of Hurricane/Sub-Tropical/Nor’easter/monster storm Sandy. Help in the form of blankets and clothes are on the way from Florida. I know many of our electrical crews from the Tampa Bay area are up there to help restore power. My heart and soul grieves for all of you and prays for a quick recovery and brighter days. God bless all of you.
Happy Friday, everyone, and have a spectacular weekend.
In approximately 12 days, writers everywhere will embrace NaNoWriMo. The internet is alive with chatter like the following:
- “Are you going to participate this year?”
- “Do you have an idea in mind?”
- “I’m going to lock myself in a cabin for a month so I can write a book. What about you?”
- “I like to outline my novel before I start NaNoWriMo. What is your approach?”
- “What foods do you eat during NaNoWriMo?”
I tried NaNo last year, but didn’t reach the required 50,000 words. I’m not sure if I’ll do it this year. Perhaps I should. Maybe it would motivate me to complete my 2nd novel. Hmm. I still have 19 days to think about it.
In the meantime, I offer the following to all you NaNo writers out there. May the force be with you and may the odds be ever in your favor.