If you’re like me, you’re up to your eyeballs in writing with Nanowrimo this November! And if you’re a bit more like me, you started two days late because punctuality is not your strong suit. But never fear: as a long-time Nano participant, (success rate notwithstanding) I’m here to help with these five tips sure to help you crush your word count goal.
1. Find a “Writing Spot”
For me, this spot has always been a coffee shop. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where Starbucks doesn’t cover up their power outlets (side-eyes Los Angeles), you can kick back and spend a whole weekend day drinking those fifty cent iced coffee refills. For me, having somewhere dedicated to write always helps me knock more words out than if I’m at home sitting in bed. Because beds were made for sleeping, not productivity.
2. Make a Killer Playlist
I’ve made several themed playlists in my time, notably my Young Love playlist, perfect for YA writers, and my Slow-Burn playlist, inspired by all of those intoxicating “will they won’t they” moments. Head over to Spotify and make a playlist that keeps the words flowing from your fingertips!
3. Start a Word War!
If you’re new to Nano, you may not know that a Word War is a friendly competition between two or more writers who compete to see who can write the most words in a set amount of time, usually fifteen or thirty minutes. When I need a little bit of extra motivation, I’ll put a call out into the twitterverse to see who wants to play! Soon, I’ll have a few people to compete against as well as some new friends.
4. Reward Yourself
Fill a jar with marbles, or make a sticker chart! You can keep track of your Nano progress in more ways than just the website. As you meet your daily and weekly goals, give yourself a treat, like a cookie or a latte. Sugary treats have the added benefit of giving you an extra energy boost so you can write even more!
5. Have Fun
I hate to break it to you, but no one’s writing the Great American Novel in thirty days. I’ve edited my Nano novels for years after their first November drafts. Nano is the time of the year when we can let go of the harsh structure of story and just write. November is for writing. The rest of the year is for editing, and you can’t edit what isn’t there. So get out your laptop or notebook and just let the words flow!