Saturday, December 7, 2013

How I Won NaNoWriMo: Tips That May Help You Too

   Hello all! How I've missed you. For the month of November I usually go into hibernation because it's National Novel Writing Month. This was my fourth year doing Nano and it was a success. I do it every year because it ensures that I write at least one novel a year. Something about NaNoWriMo gives me that extra kick in the pants to actually sit down and write. I thought I would share some tips on how I won Nano this year and maybe, just maybe, it might help you in the future. 

1. Lots of coffee.

I blame Nano for making me into a coffee drinker in the first place. Before my first year of doing Nano, I wasn't a regular coffee drinker. Now I can't put the stuff down. This month I wrote into the late hours of the night and often woke up as early as 4 am to write. Trust me when I say that it could not be done without coffee.

2. Locking myself away.

I spend A LOT of time with my family and go home on weekends. While doing Nano I had to step away, close my room door and write. I would come out for food then retreat back to my writing cave. I would set goals. You will have to find what works for you, but my goals were in 1000-word increments. Every thousand words I got a reward, such as a certain amount of social media time. I'm obsessed with social media so that was motivation enough. Find what works for you.

3. Trusting that I could write in another genre.

I normally write literary/women's fiction. This time, I decided to experiment with YA. It was fun, which is what Nano should be. I think that I'll experiment every year now. I learned that I can write other things and it doesn't have to be perfect. 

4. Unwavering faith.

I never once stopped believing that I was going to finish. Sure, the future often looked grim, but I didn't let it stop me. I kept going and I kept writing.

5. I wanted it badly enough.

Failing just wasn't an option. I wanted to win National Novel Writing Month by any means necessary. I was willing to do whatever it was going to take. 

   National Novel Writing Month is important to me because it's the one time I can be selfish about my writing. It seems as though everything comes before my writing in the previous months of the year--well, not in November. Despite my demanding job, I was able to finish. Nano will be something I do for years to come. 

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