It’s that time of year again when writers all over the world gear up for a serious writing challenge. Nano Writer Month.
Goal? 50,000 words in 30 days.
It can seem a bit overwhelming at first. But, that breaks down to 1,667 words per day. Not quite so intimidating now, huh?
That works out to around two hours a day, three tops. If you have an idea of what you want to write, then you’ll be well prepared to reach and even surpass your daily goal.
It doesn’t’ have to be in one session a day either. A few minutes here, a few minutes there. So long as you reach the daily goal. It’s easier than you think. When my kids were little I wrote while they napped. These days I write while they sleep most nights since I’m up tending the fire any ways.
If you’re a plotter: Keep your notes on hand in case you get stuck.
If you’re a panster, set mood music and let your fingers fly.
Turn off spell check and grammar checker to help keep you inner editor quiet. Send him or her on vacation for the month, as a reward for all their hard work through out the year. If they creep in, ignore them. I find it easy to stay in the flow if I change the music to match the atmosphere I’m trying to create.
Pamper your muse. Try 15-20 minutes of free writing to help you get into the flow. Look at something in the room with you and describe it, allow your mind go off in tangents as the words flow. Open your senses and reveal in them as you type. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense. The point is to let your muse have free reign.
Remember it doesn’t have to be a finished story by the end of the month. If you complete it great, but don’t drive yourself nuts trying to reach the end. Focus on your daily goals.
When you reach your goals, reward yourself. It can be a special candy, a book you’ve been dying to read, a movie you want to see, an hour away from the kids, lol. Whatever reward you think you deserve.
If you don’t reach your daily goal, then hold yourself accountable, or find a couple friend, or writer’s group who will. I’ve learned it’s easier to keep motivated if you know someone will hold you accountable.
I won last year with over 84K words, little plot, and little structure. It was my first and last time being a panster. Obviously that’s going to need a major revision, eventually. I also participated in Camp Nano June 2012 and won with over 60K words.
I’m doing Nano next month. Have my plot notes ready and have taken a week long break from writing so I will be well rested. Wish me luck.
Have you ever participated in Nano? What are some of your best tips for chipping away at the ultimate goal? What are some of the ways you like to reward yourself? How have you held yourself accountable?