by Katana Collins
It’s that time of year!!! National Novel Writing Month, or more affectionately known as NaNoWriMo, is here!
Last year popped my NaNoWriMo cherry and this year? I am SO excited to get this book done. Also, I have a deadline looming and this is the perfect kick in the ass I’ll need. You see, November is a notoriously busy month for me. And I’ve been in a bit of a writer’s slump lately. Hopefully, this is just the kick in the pants I need. In preparation, I’ve been researching tips to make November as successful as possible. Here is what I’ve compiled:
By creating an outline (however you find it easiest to do so) will help on those days you find it difficult to write. Thwarting writer’s block is tough, but the more prepared you are for what you will be working on each day, the more successful each day will be.
2) Don’t Edit.
The whole idea of NaNoWriMo is quantity not quality. For this month, don’t revise. Don’t edit. Just keep writing. If November is National Novel WRITING Month, then December should be considered National Novel EDITING Month.
3) Create a comfortable writing environment.
Have a specific area set up that is just for you and your laptop. Keep it tidy. Make it inspired–whatever that means for you. For me, I have an inspiration board I like to reference. For my husband, he likes a minimalist environment. Determine what you need to be the most successful.
4) Set your goals.
Then overwrite. In order to make it to the 50k in the month of November, you need to write 1,666 words every day. Because I know I will need to take a couple of days off, I plan on setting myself a goal of 2,000 words a day at least 5 days a week. Then, the goal on top of the goal is to exceed the initial goal.
5) Set aside the time of day that best works for you. Then stick to your schedule.
For many, writing in the early morning is ideal for them. Waking up at 5am and writing until 7am when the kiddos need to wake for school is ideal. For me, I’m a night owl. My ideal writing time is either during the day (after lunch), or midnight – 2am.
6) Form or join a community of other writers participating.
Self explanatory, right? Writers are known for holing themselves up in their office with one dim light and a pot of coffee. But having a support group of sorts for this type of competition is key.
7) Set rewards for yourself.
Little rewards along the way are motivating. Offering yourself a hot chocolate for meeting your daily goal. Or buying that cute dress in the shop window you've passed each day when you meet the weekly goal. Keep yourself motivated. Keep yourself going.
8) Assemble your writer’s block first aid kit.
This could mean a lot. It could be a physical kit or a virtual kit. Your physical kit could (in theory) contain a dictionary, a thesaurus, story dice, cute pens and pencils, assorted paper, number dice, baby naming books (for character names), your outline, a couple of current magazines, creativity card deck, and a stress ball. Your virtual kit could contain: Pinterest, a timer, Scrivener, etc. This year, I’ve put together a jar of Popsicle sticks. Written on these sticks are random sentences for when I don’t know how to start. I grab a stick at random and begin to get the creativity flowing. It’s also a fun challenge!
Despite the crazy busy November month and your day job and holiday shopping–find time to read and be inspired by other people’s words.
10) Turn off your internet.
Trust me and just do it. Right now, I should be working on my novel….but here I am dicking around on Facebook.
11) Write your scenes out of order.
This is one of those tricks I always say that I’ll try and I never do. I’m a very sequentially motivated writer, so the idea of writing a scene that comes later in the book first gives me heart palpitations. But I understand the sentiment behind it and it’s worth a try on those slump days!
So, that’s it! I’ll see you on the flip side (otherwise known as December)!♥
Katana Collins is best known for writing steam-your-glasses romances. Between navigating life as a small business owner, a first-time homeowner, and a newlywed, Kat is in a constant state of “OHMYGODINEEDCOFFEENOW.” She is the author of the Soul Stripper trilogy, Wicked Exposure, and the graphic novel, Cafe Racer, co-written with Sean Murphy. She and her comic book artist husband commute back and forth as they please between Brooklyn, NY and Portland, ME with their ever-growing family of rescue animals. She can usually be found hunched over her laptop in a cafe, guzzling gallons of coffee, and wearing fabulous (albeit sometimes impractical) shoes.