It’s that time of year again, a time when Writers come out of the woodwork to write their books. That time of year is none other than NaNoWriMo month.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about how to use the month of November to write the first 50,000 words of your book. This challenge is both exhilarating, fun, and hard work. But with the right tools, you’ll have a book, that you never thought you would be able to write, in your hands.
I’ve used the month of November to write one of my books, and Dabble with others just to perfect the craft of writing. While it’s been a couple of years since I’ve done NaNoWriMo, I’m moving full steam ahead this year to finish my novel that’s due next year.
If you’re just starting out with writing and you don’t know how to begin writing a book, using this challenge will help you accomplish a task that you have longed to do. Most people dream of writing a book if you ever accomplish it and even fewer publish it.
I want to give you five things that I do in preparing for NaNoWriMo, how to run the event, and how to make the experience worthwhile.
1. Prepare your thoughts ahead of time.
While there may be just two days before NaNoWriMo begins, there are things you can still do to get yourself in the mindset of writing.
- Know what you’re going to write. It’s hard enough to write but floundering on what you want to write and Switching gears mid-month will not do you any favors. Find a topic, stick with it.
- Create a simple outline of your book. Chances are, you’ve been planning, thinking about, and mulling over what it is that you want to write. Take the time and write a short outline. I have a free tool that you can use to map out each chapter of your book.
- Schedule a time on your calendar to write.
- Set your daily goal.
- get any snacks that you want to munch on ready for your writing Adventure.
2. How to begin.
When November 1st rolls around, you get excited because you can sit down and actually write your book. But sitting down and writing is only part of the battle. It’s having the mindset and the will to push through on the days that you don’t want to write.
When I begin a writing challenge, I make sure I have everything I need to sit down and write. I pull out my legal pad, a pencil, and a good eraser. I make sure I have water, a snack, in a working computer that’s unplugged from the internet.
Make sure your family knows your plan and what you’re going to do for the next 30 days. Seclude yourself whether it’s in the early morning, or late at night after your family goes to bed, or during the day when the kids can be doing something else. Making sure that you have quiet and alone time to write will help you immensely on the days that you find it difficult to put a single word on the page.
3. Write your chapter synopsis before you write your chapter.
Nothing is worse than sitting down at the computer, seeing a blinking cursor, and not being able to write. I suggest that you write a synopsis of a chapter before you actually go to the computer.
Here’s my process. Before I start typing I pull out a yellow legal pad and a pencil and I begin writing down everything I want to include in that chapter. Now, I write the synopsis as if I’m writing the chapter. I may include a few lines of dialogue, I may describe the setting and the scene, but I make sure I understand what I’m going to write before I write anything.
A chapter synopsis does not have to be long, but it must include the main points you want to get across before you write. Nanowrimo goal is for us to write 1667 words a day, without a plan in place you’re going to fall flat on your word count.
4. Write, Write, and don’t edit back.
One thing that I strongly recommend, and those who run NaNoWriMo recommend the same thing, do not edit your work. One of the worst things you can do while trying to maintain a daily word count goal is to edit the prior day’s work.
Avoid that Temptation at all cost.
As writers, we have this innate ability to want to see perfected work before moving forward. Doing this will only slow down your writing process for the month of November. Once November has ended, feel free to go back and edit your work. Trust me you’re going to want to edit your work.
Remember, nobody produces a clean first draft. Especially on NaNoWriMo.
5. Reward yourself on the days you meet your writing goal.
Because writing is hard work, if we don’t have a goal to reach for, other than our writing goal, we’re going to get bored and we’re going to want to give up when the going gets tough. I suggest, if you meet your 1667 words for the day, reward yourself with a treat.
It doesn’t have to be much, you can simply eat a piece of candy, watch your favorite TV show, or catch up on the news. But do something that you can look forward to receiving when you met your daily goal.
Bonus Point: NaNoWriMo that yearly goal is for us as writers to produce 50000 words on a Next book. That is a lot of writing. And that’s a lot of writing for 30 days.
When you reach the end of November and you set down that pencil, take the time to reward your hard work. Take a break from writing, buy yourself that treat you’ve been wanting, or sit down with a cup of cocoa and read your favorite authors latest book.
Then, pat yourself on the back and get back to work editing the work that you’ve accomplished in the month of November.
Question: How do you plan on using NaNoWriMo this year? Leave a comment by clicking here!
Get THE outline you need for NaNoWriMo!
What if you could outline your book today and start writing tomorrow? Want to know the secret?
Get the perfect Story Board Template and stop procrastinating on your book.