Earlier this week Heidi wrote a great post about attending local write-in’s. If you didn’t read it definitely check it.
Inspired by Heidi’s post, I decided to write a little about my NaNoWriMo experience. Before NaNo started I felt as if I read a lot of posts on how to prepare for the month, so I thought I’d put together a post of things not to do (because I am very good at doing all of these things).
Five Ways to Fail at NaNoWriMo
1. Participate in NaNo alone: There’s a reason the awesome people of NaNo have put together an awesome website where you can connect with writing buddies and people in your region. NaNoWriMo is not meant to be a solo sport; it’s easy to give up on something when no one is holding you accountable.
This is my third attempt at NaNo, and while I’m off to a slow start I have been writing every day. I have a small group of friends who are also doing NaNo and we send each other daily emails. We share how many words we’ve written, and sometimes we’ll include pieces of other fun info, like the music we’ve been listening to. This has really helped me stay motivated, and it’s made the whole experience more fun!
2. Compare yourself to other writers: Two things always happen when you compare yourself to others, either you start to feel as if you are way better than them, or you feel as if you’ll never measure up. The great thing about NaNo is everyone can win. It’s not a race where the first person who reaches 50,000 words is the only NaNo champ. We can all be champs!
3. Go back and edit your work: This is probably the NaNo sin I’m most guilty of committing. I have a hard time moving forward if everything isn’t perfect. But this strategy doesn’t work too well for NaNo. So no matter what, resist the urge to go back and edit. Fight it like it’s a Zombie that wants to end your writing life. Just keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing.
4. Stop reading just keep writing: I know I just told you to keep writing no matter what, but now I’m going to go back on that, because everyone needs to take breaks. I know it’s tempting not to take those breaks, and to push pleasure reading aside in favor of just writing. But, for me, I know that whenever I say I’m going to stop reading books for pleasure my writing suffers.
Reading amazing books keeps me inspired to write. I’ve also found using reading as a reward can be a great motivational too. If it’s later at night and I’m having a hard time pushing through, I’ll reward my self with Chapter Breaks. I’ll give myself a word count goal and if I reach it, I let myself read a chapter of a book that I’ve been dying to finish.
5. Give up when you fall behind: Along time ago I read a quote, “It’s the start that stops most people.” The first week of NaNo is coming to a close. Hopefully, most of you have had amazing weeks with daily word counts that far exceed 1,000 words. But for those of you whose life has perhaps gotten in the way of your writing, don’t feel discouraged. There are still 23 days left in November. Three weeks full of long nights. It’s the perfect time to bundle up with a blanket and coco and write some amazingness!
So, what about all of you? If any of you have any good tips about failing or succeeding at NaNoWriMo I’d love to hear them.
P.S. If you want to find me and be my one of my NaNo buddies click here.