Finishing Strong – NaNo 2016

November is scarily close to ending, and NaNoWriMo is nearly done. I’m dangerously low on words, so I’m going to give you some motivation to try and up my own word count. I’ll also list some tips and tricks for making it through the end of the month with success.

The first thing you should know is that I’ll laugh at you if you don’t finish. I’ll show up outside of your window, point, and laugh. Watch out for me. If you don’t want a stranger standing outside of your window late at night, you should get writing.

Speaking of writing, you should be doing that right now. What are you doing reading this? Get to work, you useless potato!

Looking up cute studyblr posts does wonders for motivation. You would not believe what some highlighters and nice calligraphy does to you.

If you get stuck, then move on. Write something in all caps that says you’re missing words, and move on. You can come back to those scenes later.

When you need to take a writing break take that time to grab tea, pee, and outline a little further. If you have everything outlined already, then make a super detailed outline of the next chapter, including motions, descriptions, etc. That way you don’t need to think of a single thing when you get going again, you can just go.

Since it’s nearly the end, it’s getting a little hard to keep going. I get it. I’m over 10k words behind and writing is a pain in the ass. What I do when I want to quit is envision where my writing could take me. No matter how much you may repress these thoughts, I know you have the image of you being a professional writer hidden in your head. Dig that image out and spend five minutes imagining your life with that career. That should remind you why you’re trying, so get writing!

A good way to get stuff written is to write what you’ve been wanting to write forever. Whenever I need to get going I write a post about my life or my emotions. I love writing about those things because that’s almost the only way I express those feelings. So find what gets you writing, and write about it.

Find ways to make the same amount of writing make more words. Unless you’re writing something pretty casual like me, stop using contractions. Write every sentence in the longest way possible. In December you can edit them to make them shorter if you must, but for this month make them long.

The last weekend of the month is only days away. Cancel all plans. Stock up on writing food, microwave meals, and teabags. Barricade yourself in your bedroom with your laptop and don’t stop for anyone. Try to get yourself to 50k this weekend. I have a three day weekend, so I’m going to write like hell. Set yourself hourly goals with a punishment if you don’t make your goal. That’s how I write as much as I can when I have a long time to write. I tend to procrastinate when I have no time limit, so giving myself short term goals helps me. If you have to pee, say you can go when you write x amount of words. If you’re bored of your current playlist, or you’ve ran out of snacks do the same. Be ruthless.

Fitting in with the last paragraph, getting a load of chocolate and setting word amounts per piece does wonders. I don’t know if you are as chocolate crazy as me, but almost nothing can get me to write faster. Especially if it’s the really good chocolate. Just the thought of those Lindor chocolates makes my mouth water, so I’m going to stock up on those this weekend and that’s all I’ll need.

I haven’t tried the NaNo word sprints, but I think those would work really well to just get the words out. I know that’s what NaNo is about anyway, but I tend to edit my work as I write anyway. The word sprints could curb my habit if done frequently enough, I think.

If you have any other last-minute pieces of advice, I’d love to hear them. Best of luck with all of your projects!

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Surviving NaNoWriMo – Week 2

We are now in week two of NaNoWriMo! For those who don’t know what NaNo is, it’s a challenge to write 50,000 words throughout the month of November. Traditionally you write a novel, since it is National Novel Writing Month, but other projects are accepted. This year I’m trying to write my 50k in blog posts.

Now is the week of self doubt, denial, and in my short NaNo history dropping out can be included. So today I’m going to share my tips for staying on track as the month goes on.

The #1 thing all Wrimos need during November is caffeine. Be is coffee, tea, or that fancy caffeine chocolate – stock up. You’re going to need it. I drink tea, so I have a big box of orange pekoe tea bags in the pantry that I’m really using. During the week you may be able to take it easy on these, but make sure you have a supply come the weekend.

The weekend is when you should be raising your word count, so you have some wiggle room throughout the week. I’ve been doing it backwards, since I’m going to have a super busy weekend, but generally speaking you should be writing your butt off on weekends. (Maybe listening to me on this isn’t a good idea… I’m over 5,000 words behind right now.)

Another tip I have, taken from No Plot? No Problem! is to boast about what you’re writing. If people know that you’re trying to write 50,000 words, then you have to face their laughter when you fail. If you really need motivation then bet something. It doesn’t even have to be money. Have a roommate/family? Get them to hide all the cookies in the house, and only give them to you if you meet your word count. Have a Starbucks addiction? Get a friend agree to buy you one drink a week if you meet your word count every week. Have a ruthless friend? Give them some of your money and tell them to only give it to you if you meet your word count. If you picked the right friend they actually won’t give it back if you fail.

Last thing: Make some writing buddies. If you have people to compete with, then you’ll want to win even more. A real life friend maximizes competitiveness, but if you can only find people online that works too. If you can beat a friend and win NaNo at the same time, then that’s even better for you, and your word count.

That’s about all I have for today. Any of you have some tips to stay on track? I sure could use them about now! So please give me your secrets. I’m seriously desperate.

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NaNoWriMo 2016

So I recently made a terrible mistake – I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2016.

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I tried to do NaNo last year, but I got a concussion a few days in, and couldn’t use my laptop for well over a month after that. The emails from NaNo kept coming, though, and I didn’t have the heart to stop them.

This year the emails started coming again. I ignored them for a solid week, then I gave in and signed up. It was like being peer pressured into something, but I have no friends.

 

It was a good idea at the time. But then I thought about it for a few days. I had to quit volleyball because of the sheer amount of homework I was getting. I just started a blog. What the hell did I just do?

 

But I couldn’t back down from this. I’m an extremely competitive person and dropping NaNo after signing up was an insult to my intelligence, time management skills, and sanity. So, I decided to continue with NaNo, but write 50 000 words in blog posts. Now I don’t need to worry about this blog failing miserably like the last two I’ve had, and I can defeat the NaNo beast. Win-win!

 

Outlining 50-60 blog posts will be awful, but I think I can do this with a hell of a lot of little effort. There will be lots of blog posts to come, anyway!

 

Any of you doing NaNoWriMo this year? What are you writing about? (Drop your username so we can be writing buddies! Mine is @devyngrace)

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