It’s that time, once again, people!
NanoWriMo is officially here! With thousands of excited, enthusiastic writers, ready to write their way to 50,000 words in 30 days. I’m one of them, at least, now that I’ve figured out the key to my own success.
I’ve done Nano a few times.
Some years I’ve succeeded. Some years, not so much.
But I’ve figured out a few tricks along the way that I thought I’d share.
- Don’t Quit! As in, Don’t Quit writing just because you hit your minimum for the day.
- Many of us get super excited, and we start writing on day one, and hit our minimum word count right away, and after 2-3 days of hitting that 1667 in just an hour or two, we think this is easy. It’s not, and it will get harder. A lot harder. You’ll get discouraged. And frustrated. And wonder where the words went. Then you’ll miss a couple of days. And suddenly you’re behind.
- So my advice is, Keep Writing! If the words are flowing for that story when you hit your minimum, keep writing. Add an extra 500 words or 1000 or whatever. Just don’t stop if it’s working. When those days come, and it gets frustrating, and you can barely type a sentence, you’ll be glad you wrote more on the days it was flowing.
Be realistic with your daily minimum word count. Sure, that 1667 is easy to do, but that is Every Single Day.
- What about the November holidays? If you know you’re going to be doing a lot with family several days, due to the Thanksgiving holiday, then you had better count those days out.
- Or sick days? We all like to think we’re Superman or Wonder Woman, but the truth is, we all get sick. Or have family that gets sick.
- Things happen, too. Just crazy things. After all, Mercury is in Retrograde for most of the month. Anything can happen.
So calculate your word count for disaster
What does that mean?
Simply, plan for non-writing days.
Okay, here’s where I get tricky. Math.
Simply put, here’s how to plan for disaster
Take the number of days in the month, subtract out days you know you’re not going to be able to write, and divide 50,000 by that number.
Here’s an example, using my family traditions:
30 Days – 3 days for Thanksgiving events – 5 days of day job that I won’t be able to write – 3 days for an event – 2 days for sickness = 17 days.
50,000 words / 17 days = 2,942 words a writing day.
While that’s a little more than I average a day now it’s not an unbelievably big number for me. Will I have to push to do it? Of course. But that’s what Nano is about. Pushing yourself to really do something.
It’s about proving to yourself that you can do it. Whether you hit that 50,000 word mark or not. You can still win, if you, say, finish that book you’ve been working on forever.
Nano is a very personal journey. It’s unique for us all. So get out there, and do it.