How to Crush NaNoWriMo this November: [a survival guide]


It is the first day of November and so, today, a writer will die.

Haha, just kidding! I have never known NaNoWriMo to kill anyone. (And brownie points for whoever got that reference!)

No, while NaNoWriMo is definitely intimidating, do not let it scare you; it is definitely conquerable, not just for superwriters like Cait @Paperfury, but for slow writers, new writers, and the rest of us.

Here are some of the top things I have done that make a difference:

Put words in the bank. On days when you are free, go over your regular wordcount, maybe even do two or three day’s worth in. On those days where you literally don’t get a chance to even sit down, you will be thanking your past self.

Do not underestimate the power of hyping yourself up. An outing at a coffee shop? Do it. Buy a new mug and coffee blend? Go for it. Choose a handful of things that are going to get you really excited to write and make it happen.

Take breaks. Let yourself enjoy the experience. You will definitely look back with some fondness on the marathon days or nights where you are chugging tea or coffee to stay awake and writing like a hero, but your story (and sanity) will be better off for taking fifteen minutes to build up your Pinterest board or read a few chapters of that new release.

Feed your creative side. I always make a point of consuming quality media during November, because nothing stops you in your tracks faster than running out of creative steam. I plan some movie nights (and I might just pick them based on actors that I’ve mentally cast as characters) and I choose a couple good reads to get through.

Get yourself a wingman. It is especially helpful if they are also doing NaNoWriMo, as word sprinting can be extremely helpful, but my non-writing friends have been just as instrumental as the writing ones. Someone who will tell you to get cracking when you want to procrastinate, someone who will buy you a coffee to encourage you, or someone who will ask how the writing is coming.

Put together a survival kit. Healthy snacks (so you don’t get a sugar or junk food crash), pens and scribble paper, small treats, things that remind you of your project, anything that will help give you that little push when you’re losing inspiration. For me, it’s mugs, pita chips, chocolate, coffee or tea, little notebooks, a fresh pack of pens, and candles.

Choose a project you can commit to. Nothing stops you in your tracks faster than falling out of love with your story. Choose a project you love, can’t stop thinking about, and burns inside of you like a fire, wanting to get out. That is the story that will see you safely through 50k in a month.

Where are my Wrimos at? While I am not “officially” participating this year because of edits I will definitely be writing alongside all of you! What are some of your favorite strategies for surviving/winning?