At See Jane Write headquarters, November is all about #BlogLikeCrazy, my annual challenge to myself and other bloggers to publish a new blog post every day for 30 days. But many women of the See Jane Write community will be participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in November. If you’re in that number, I want you to know I have your back, too. I’ve put together some NaNoWriMo tips for you.
I asked the members of the See Jane Write Network Facebook group to offer their top tips for succeeding at NaNoWriMo, which challenges you to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Here’s what they had to say…
Develop a daily writing habit NOW.
When See Jane Write Collective member Safiya Robinson recommends getting in the habit of writing every day before NaNoWriMo officially begins. “What I wrote in October had nothing to do with what I wrote for NaNoWriMo, but it helped,” Safiya says.
Make your writing time non-negotiable.
Safiya says she also designated a time to write each day and made that time non-negotiable. “It’s only a month after all,” she says. That said, Safiya also adds that she wasn’t too hard on herself if she didn’t meet her word count goal for the day. “In truth, I wrote more on the weekends and less during the week and it all came out in the wash,” she says. Safiya offers more NaNoWriMo tips and writing advice in her blog post “How I Learned to Finish What I Started.”
Related Reading: Member of the Month: Safiya Robinson
Never hit delete.
“Making an outline and not hitting ‘delete’ has helped me meet the 50k goal for several years now,” says Allison Mackey. “It’s not meant to be stellar prose; it’s meant to be a month of word vomit.” Allison reminds us that you can always edit bad writing later, but as Jodi Picoult once said, “You can’t edit a blank page.” Allison says, “if you get stuck, skip to the next character or scene or plot change and just keep plowing through.”
Likewise, Safiya warns against editing as you write. “I wasn’t expecting to produce a perfect manuscript, but what I wanted to do was to finish,” Safiya says, “and experience had taught me to just keep writing and resist the urge to polish and edit as I went along.”
Visualize the finish line.
Young adult author Randi Pink says you should start visualizing your finished novel now. “Go for long walks and imagine yourself completing it,” Randi says. “Dream it now so you’ll have something to strive for.” She also recommends watching the news and reading about current events related to your novel idea.
Set daily word-count goals.
Leslie Golden completed a NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago and during the challenge set a daily minimum word-count goal of 1500 words. “If I got to the end of an important scene at 1350 words, too bad; I needed 150 more,” Leslie says, adding that this also seemed to help her fight back writer’s block, too.
Don’t go it alone.
Leslie also recommends joining the NaNoWriMo website for moral support throughout the month. “After 1500 words, I was tired, giddy, and a host of other emotions I couldn’t share with my non-writing spouse,” Leslie says. “So after the hard work was done, I’d be-bop over to their bulletin boards, read and chat with other sufferers. It was a great way to get my head back together.”
Remember See Jane Write is here for you, too. On Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. CT I’ll be hosting a #BlogLikeCrazy & NaNoWriMo Virtual Planning Party. RSVP here.
And the weekly write-in sessions that I host for members of the See Jane Write Collective should definitely help you with your word count goals.
This was the one tip that I’ve heard people offer again and again. “I picked something that would be easy and fun to write,” Safiya says. “So, I wrote a novel called Lessons in Love, where I lived out my fantasy of running an advice column. It was a simple boy-meets-girl story so that I could focus on the writing without having to concentrate on a complicated plot.”
Don’t forget to sign up for the #BlogLikeCrazy & NaNoWriMo Virtual Planning Party set for Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. CT RSVP here.