What is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The basic idea is to finish a novel in a month.
Think that’s impossible?
It takes at least 50,000 words to make a novel. There are 30 days in the month of November. That means you only need to write 1,666 words a day! Very much doable.
Should you do NaNoWriMo?
Yes. Even a bigger, all-caps YES for those who want to be writers.
By participating in NaNoWriMo, you do 2 beneficial things.
- You develop a habit of writing everyday.
- You learn to separate creating from editing.
#1 is important because novels take a lot of work. If you want to finish your story, you will need to make a habit of actively working on it. If you don’t have a habit in place, you’ll likely keep putting off writing your novel. That’s sad. It would suck if you died before you got to write all the amazing stories in your head.
#2 is important so that you don’t get discouraged from writing. It’s better to get the first draft down before correcting mistakes or questioning whether what you’ve written is good or bad. If you try being critical when you start writing, it’s easy to be stuck in place, paralyzed by the fear of writing a sh*tty story. If you want to end up finishing a novel, you need to get it down, AND THEN work on perfecting it.
How to do NaNoWriMo?
- Have an idea of a story in your head. I recommend creating an outline of the story before you start.
- Write without editing.
3 NaNoWriMo Tips for Success
One of the authors I talked to told me that in her 200ish page novel, 75 of those pages ended up being completely deleted from the book. 75 pages is A LOT. Furthermore, she’s not talking about rough draft pages, she’s talking about when she’s finalizing her manuscript.
Odd’s are, you’re not a professional writer, so don’t hold your NaNoWriMo novel to the standard of books you’ve read. NaNoWriMo novels are first drafts of novels. You should only be concerned with getting the story down.
You can correct typos, grammar, plot issues, character issues, etc, AFTER NaNoWriMo..
Writing fast is a skill that will take you far. Not only will you be able to meet your word count quotas sooner, but you will also be better able to tap into your creativity. You won’t have the issue of second guessing everything you’re writing, because you’ll be writing too fast for your analytical mind to step in.
You will likely make many mistakes when you first start writing fast, but because you’re doing NaNoWriMo, you don’t need to worry about those mistakes.
Although you can catch up if you miss a day or two, NaNoWriMo is much easier if you develop a daily writing habit.
Pick a time of day, and an area where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. Write your 1,666 words there everyday.
That’s all there is to this tip.
Though if you want more on this, here’s another book by the author who wrote 5000 words per hour.
You could also check out our post on staying motivated.
I completed NaNoWriMo two years ago. Although I haven’t published the novel I wrote back then, completing NaNoWriMo allowed me to prove to myself that I could accomplish it, despite how busy I was with university.
I didn’t do NaNoWriMo last year, but I finished a draft of a novel in a week. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t pushed myself to the next level the previous November.
So go take advantage of NaNoWriMo. Go find yourself an accountability partner. Write your novel.
And to summarize the tips: Regularly write sh*t, fast.