Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo!

Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo!

Hi, welcome back! So it’s October which
means that I’m cold and it also means that it’s Prep-Tober for National
Novel Writing Month. So if you clicked on this video you probably already know
what NaNoWriMo is but in case you don’t it’s an event where people try to write
50,000 words in the month of November because 50,000 words is technically a
novel, although I will say it’s really more of a novella and if you intend to
get published you should probably look into what the expectations are for
length in the genre that you’re writing, but in any case it is an event where
people trying to write a novel in the month of November. I have participated
twice in a really dedicated way and I’ve dabbled two other times. So I just wanted
to give my tips for surviving NaNoWriMo, making the most of it, not winning
because I’ve never won. I’ve never gotten to 50,000 words before, although I’ve
gotten close. So these are my tip. Also, I am planning on vlogging through my
experience of participating this year. So please subscribe if you’re interested
because I will be making more videos about this in the future. So these are my
tips for making the most of your experience. Number one
snacks. Candy more specifically. So obviously this happens in November which
means that it happens right after Halloween so if you have candy leftover
you can do what I do which is play little games with making goals,
like, I have to write 500 words then I get a piece of candy, because I’m a child
and I’m not above bribing myself. And it’s fun and it works. Number two, I like
to make writing playlists and in general just kind of get cozy
with my writing in November. I mean it’s cold, so I like to make tea and you know
just get comfortable set myself up, recognizing that I’m trying to write a
lot which means I’m trying to write for extended periods of time so what will it
take to get me more comfortable? what will keep me sitting down longer? So
along with candy, like I said, some tea, a nice writing playlist. I tend to listen
to the same music for several years now with my writing
and it’s really helpful because it just kind of puts me in that mind state where
I understand that’s what I’m trying to do. And I’m so used to writing to that
music, that I just kind of fall into like my writing trance and it’s really
helpful. So number three, join the NaNoWriMo website. I’ve spoken to a
number of people, even people who have sort of dabbled or participated in NaNoWriMo, who
don’t realize that there’s a website which is interesting to me because the
rest of my tips pretty much have to do with utilizing the website. I think it’s
a really good resource so tip number four, sorry I had to look at my notes, is
to read the pep talks on the website so throughout November every year there
will be new pep talks which are these letters to participants from usually
pretty famous and successful authors talking about how difficult it is to
write a novel and how they know what you’re going through and it’s really
motivating and even beyond the month of November those pep talks are there.
They’re archived. You can look at them, back to the very first year that they
started, I’m not sure when. Throughout the year whenever you’re feeling down
about your novel writing especially and writing in general you can look at those
pep talks and they are nice and motivating. Number five read something
bad. This one’s pretty specific to me I haven’t heard this, everything else on
this list is obviously kind of straightforward, but I had an experience
a few years ago where I was writing book reviews for library journal and school
library journal and they would send me these books that I would never otherwise
read, a lot of which I would definitely not have finished,
books that were just not very good that I normally wouldn’t have read. But the
thing was, as much as that was kind of unpleasant, it was nice and motivating
because- writing is such an ego-driven experience to write
and it can really get you feeling down about your own ability but if you kind
of take a look around maybe outside of the genre that you read
outside of the stuff you normally read you’ll realize that you are definitely
not the worst writer. There are worse writer. So read
something bad or even just look at one of these, watch one of these ranty
BookTube videos. You can go watch the Paperback Dreams video about Fifty
Shades of Grey it’s actually a series because I think
she read at least two of those books. Very entertaining and honestly makes me
feel better about my writing so I feel like other people would probably have a
similar experience. Tip number six go to events. So this is something that you’ll
find on the NaNoWriMo website. You need to find your home region and
hopefully you’ll have what they call a municipal liaison who’s putting on
events where you live. Those events are usually a format where people talk,
introduce themselves, say a little bit about what they’re writing and then just
write. And it’s very motivating to me to just look around and see other people
writing, to know that I’m not alone. I feel like that’s really the central
thing about NaNoWriMo is- of course we all write year round. But this is an
event for us to get together and feel less alone and encourage each other. So
events are really good for that. Number seven, if you don’t have any events in
your area or if those events are say inaccessible or you just don’t want to
go to them you can also (especially if you’re more of like an Internet person)
you can find buddies on the NaNoWriMo website. You can search a number of
different ways like you can look for people writing in the same genre as you
and you can reach out and make internet writer friends. Twitter is also good for
that too. Number eight, speaking of Twitter, Word Sprints. These happen on
the NaNoWriMo website but they also happen on Twitter. For the first several
years that I did NaNoWriMo I never participated in any Word Sprints. I
didn’t really see the value of them. Two years ago I got really into them and I
wish I had started doing it sooner. It’s pretty simple, sometimes there’s a
word count goal but usually what I see is someone will tweet like “okay we’re
gonna write for 20 minutes at 2:30 p.m.” whatever time zone they’re in and
then at the end of those 20 minutes you check in and you say how much you wrote
and you talk to other people about it and I find it really motivating again
even in the digital format to know that there are all these other people writing
at the same time as me. It is helpful. okay number nine, this is my last tip and
it really has to do with the time of year. As I said the beginning of this
video, I don’t know about you and where you live, I’m cold
already. And one of the tricky things about NaNoWriMo, November is a pretty
good month for writing, I think people get a little less social they
kind of hole up it’s starting to get cold and dark unfortunately. Thanksgiving obviously happens in November and that can kind of throw you off for a few
days depending on how much a travel obligation you have. But also where I
live anyway daylight savings time ends and the days are already getting shorter
and then the Sun starts to set really early and with my brain…my brain doesn’t
really like to do stuff when it’s dark out. So my tips for that basically just
are the same tips that you would see for seasonal affective disorder in general.
If you can exercise, do something social, get yourself one of
those sad lamps and in general take care of yourself. Don’t prioritize writing
to the extent that you don’t take care of yourself. And you know give yourself a
little leeway. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s a really hard time of year I think
to be super productive even though it’s also a time that people aren’t that
social and you might have more time available to you. It’s still like I said:
the sun goes down and my brain doesn’t really want to work. My brain
says the day is over. So like I said exercise, and socializing, and anything that is energy
gathering, spoon gathering for you is helpful. But also just kind of let it go
if you’re not able to write at a particular time. if your brain and body
are still adjusting to that time of year don’t beat yourself up about it. That’s
really only gonna make it worse I think. So
those are my tips. Like I said I’m gonna be vlogging through NaNoWriMo so you can
join me and please subscribe if you find that interesting because I’ll be making
videos. I’ll be updating with my word count and maybe talking a little bit
about what I’m writing and I’m looking to find internet writing buddies so
please comment on this video or go find me on Twitter with the link in the
description if you’re interested and we can do this together. I really actually
do hope to win this year for the first time hopefully. I think I can do it.
my goal for October, I have a goal of writing 20,000 words
before the month of November so that I go in hopefully win NaNoWriMo and
then end up with a 70,000 word draft because I’m writing sci-fi and I think
that it should be at least that long, even though it’s a standalone. I think it should be
at least 70,000 words to be an actual completed draft in that genre. So that’s
all for now thank you for watching. subscribe and I’ll see you next time.

3 thoughts on “Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo!

  1. Subscribed! I’m looking for more writing buddies too- my username on the NaNo site is linasayslumos (same one twitter)

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