The following is a guest post from Molly Twiddy. Molly is a writer of YA and Sci-Fi/Fantasy, reader of all things, player of Violin, Piano, Ukulele, and a bit of Guitar. She’s taking things one day at a time and is loving life. You can find her blogging at https://storieslikesnow.wordpress.com/ or on the National Novel Writing Month website at http://nanowrimo.org/participants/molly-bee.
Somehow September and October have slid by without me even noticing. The yo-yo weather, the turning of the leaves, the start of school… I’ve missed it all and once again it’s November. Which means National Novel Writing Month.
Cue tears. Of joy? Sadness? Horror? Excitement? I’m really not sure.
I’m a planner. Not that I particularly enjoy being one. I just know that if I don’t have a solid plan in place, I’ll fizzle out after five chapters. Normally I use October to plan. As I sit here and think back, I’m fairly certain that October didn’t even happen this year.
My lovely baristas at Starbucks have been checking in on me often this week as I’ve spent ridiculous hours sitting at a table planning away. Occasionally they may have caught me trying to pull out my hair. I may or may not be incredibly behind in all my planning.
The goal that I set for myself for November 2015 is lofty: 140,000 words. I’m legitimately worried for my sanity. But, you know, #yolo I may as well try! Last year I barely hit 70,000. That means the sane leap is to double it, right?
My first two NaNo’s I technically lost (by an astronomically large margin I might add). How do you write 50,000 words in a single month? These are a few of my strategies:
- Tell literally everyone you know that you’re doing this. That way they’ll lovingly question you when you aren’t writing.
- Drink lots and lots of coffee.
- Write without editing. Maybe turn off your computer screen, make your font white, remove your backspace key (I’m not that brave. I’ve already used that particular key… well… a lot in this post).
- Eat a lot of chocolate. To be healthy have a chocolate fondue with fruit.
- Write in every bit of spare time that you manage to dredge up.
- Drink more coffee.
- Haunt the NaNo chat in all hours of the night until you hit your daily word count goal.
Healthy strategies, right? I think sleep takes a backburner for me in November. And I drink far more coffee than water. Maybe if you try some of my strategies you should make them a little healthier. Just a suggestion.
Last year I did realize something important, and I think that all writers who do NaNoWriMo should keep this in the back of their minds: Winning is relative.
“How can that be? The goal is 50,000 words! The word counter tells me that!”
Yeah, and? Some people can’t write that fast. Some people have a love for their backspace key (*cough* *holds up hand* ME). Some people want their inner editor in the middle of their mind instead of the front or the back.
All of that is okay! The amount of words you write in November is still more than writing nothing. It’s a great achievement to write a short story that you’re happy with. Another great achievement is coming out of the month with a solid first five chapters of your book. The amount of words you write may determine if you officially ‘Win’, but there’s honestly no way you can lose.
My idea of winning in November is simply this: just keep writing. Adopt the attitude of Dori from Finding Nemo! Seriously, it’ll make November so much more fun. And always remember that there’s an awesome community who’s got your back if you only ask for a little help.
Good luck all NaNo-ers! I hope to see you in the chat, and in the forums, and at the write-ins where you’ll write awesome words, no matter how many you manage to crank out during the month.
P.S. I can’t help myself… I adore Sam!