NaNoWriMo Tips

NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) starts November 1 and lasts until November 30th, where you furiously write out a 50,000 page novel. It can be done. I won last year, much to my surprise. If I can do it, just about anyone else can. Here are some tips I found useful or discovered myself;

  1. Find your best writing time. Many writers admit to preferring a time over others. Some find evening hours provides the time when the mind is sharp, while others prefer the quiet hours of the dawn. I myself prefer evening because its less likely the phone rings, people visit, and even my son is safely tucked into bed.
  2. Cut down on distractions. A shut door (with a lock) or headphones help cut down on the things that can pull you from your writing.ย  It doesn’t hurt to ask your family to respect your space, and the time spent writing. I discovered this is especially true any time I write- not just in the month of November.
  3. Streamline your life. Cut back on the little things that waste time. Watching TV can turn into recording your shows to view later, check email only once a day, and ask for help to get chores done.
  4. Find your writing totem. This was a tip I found in the No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo) who suggests a hat, t-shirt, or just about anything to wear or use to establish your writing spark. I wear fingerless gloves when I write, and a friend of mine prefers lighting a candle when it comes to serious writing. Another writer I know uses a special headset that cuts out noise levels.
  5. If stuck, move to another scene. Accept you’re going to edit your work, so if you’re stuck with one scene, just switch to somewhere else in the story.
  6. Adding to scenes counts as writing. Some might argue this is editing, but if you’re adding description, dialog, or plot elements, then this counts to the 50,000 word goal.

Widgets to cure NaNoWriMo Writer’s Block


4 Replies to “NaNoWriMo Tips”

  1. Thanks for the great tips! Too Shy to Stop just featured a discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham as inspiration for NaNoWriMo. You can read the article here.


  2. Great tips from a winner – thanks for the help! I definitely think finding the right writing time is important – it’s something that’s difficult to do in the midst of real life but it can really make the process of writing go more smoothly.


  3. Whenever I feel a writing binge coming on, I wear a type of shirt I got in Japan called a ‘jinbei’. It totally puts me in the right frame of mind. Candles are great, too.
    After work, I’m going to have to check out those widgets you linked to ๐Ÿ˜‰


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