How-To: Survive Nanowrimo

Also known as Survival of the Fittest.

30 Days. 50,000 Words. (I wish every single one of you good luck.)

Nanowrimo is here! And that means writers all over the world are boarding up their windows, locking their doors, and ignoring all further social interaction or human contact. Starting today, writers will start their long journey of 50,000 words by the end of the month. That adds up to about 1,667 words a day! Phew, that’s a lot of work! 

— And for writers who would rather spend early months writing, check out Camp Nanowrimo! (April and July!) —

1. Sign Up. The first thing to do is sign up. Whether you are participating in Camp Nanowrimo in the months of April or July, or you’re joining the November Nanowrimo, make sure to go to the right website and register. It’s free, and there’s no hassle.

Don’t forget the Nanowrimo Young Writers Program for young kids 17 years and younger – perfect for young writers who wish to aspire!

2. (This Step Applies to the Young Writers Program). Set your goal! How many words do you want to write by the end of the month? Remember, it’s a challenge, so don’t make it too easy. It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone.

3. Your Daily Goal. Unlike the Young Writers Program, Nanowrimo sets the main goal for you, which is 50,000 words. But you can still set how many words you want to write a day. There is no limit on how many words you have to write a day, so if you reach your daily goal, continue on and write more! Even after you have written 50,000 words, you can continue to write. Nanowrimo lets you do so.

4. Pep Talks. Head over to the Nanowrimo website and read up on some pep talks from fellow writers and authors! Find the inspiration to keep writing.

5. Meet Fellow Writers. Nanowrimo is full of hundreds of thousands of other writers participating in the same thing you are! You are not alone, so don’t retreat into your shell and ignore every other writer out there. They need just as much help as you do.

6. Don’t Give Up! Never quit! You’ll quickly regret it if you decide Nanowrimo isn’t worth the trouble! As I said four steps above, it’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone. Do not give up, do not quit. Keep strong and keep going. You will feel so amazing, if not tired, when you’re done and you have earned your reward!

7. Word Count. Starting November 20th, you will need to start validating your wordy novel. So keep track of your word count, because if it’s one word behind, oh boy.

8. Don’t Revise, Don’t Edit, Don’t Start a New Draft. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t. Nanowrimo urges you to stay away from. The. Editing. And. Revising. Wait until you’re finished!

You’ve been warned. . .

9. Take a Break! Don’t burn yourself out. Take breaks every few days to just soak up the Vitamin D and replenish your creative juices.

10. The Reward. Okay, so I admit, it’s not some huge trophy for you to put on a shiny golden pedestal or an Emmy to rub in other people’s faces. But don’t get me wrong! You do win if you successfully write 50,000 words by the end of the month. Your rewards are:

  • A Badge for Your Blog!
  • Last year for 2013, Nanowrimo gave you a “I Won NanoWrimo 2013” T-shirt. I am not sure if they are doing that this year, but maybe so!
  • A messy, un-revised, unedited draft of 50,000 words. Oooh, exciting.

Alright, writers, get to work! You have one month to write 50,000 WORDS! Don’t freak, you’ll be okay, I promise! Just take a deep breath and write, write, write. That is all you can do.

Have fun, guys. No sleep for the next month. I wish you the best.

P.S. This’ll be a lot of you, and maybe me, by December 1st:


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