It’s November!!! The leaves are finally changing color, it’s getting COLD (which I didn’t think I would ever enjoy, but the warm October made me actually miss it), the holidays are almost upon us, and generally everything is amazing. Plus– it means that it’s time for NaNoWriMo!!
For those of you that don’t know, NaNo is National Novel Writing Month. Basically, it means that a whole bunch of people try to write an entire novel (50,000 words) over the course of a single month, with varying degrees of success and failure. If you’re interested in joining or just want to learn more, click here (yes I casually directed you to my profile, add me as a friend while you’re at it) I tried to do NaNo last year and failed miserably, both because of a lack of time and because I hadn’t planned anything out in advance. This year, I’m taking a very different approach to “novel” writing.
I don’t remember if I’ve wrote about this on the blog before, but when I get anxiety or just generally feel overly emotional, I tend to write (pretty terrible) poetry because it makes me feel better after. Since I got to college, I haven’t been writing as much since I’m not normally alone (3 roommates will do that to you) and I feel awkward writing when other people are around.
But, I miss it. a lot.
So on November 1st, I started a Google Doc titled “NaNoWriMo Book of Poetry” and pinned it into my chrome browser. Now, whenever I open up my laptop, I have to write at least one stanza about whatever I’m feeling/doing or maybe even something fictional, depending on the day. I’m hoping that it will sort of tell a modified story of my month, or at least categorize my mood swings and feelings so that I can go back through and see how I was doing each day.
I thought it might be fun to post this somewhere and update it at the end of each day, but obviously I’m not going to spam my blog with it so I’m not sure. If you have any suggestions let me know!!
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I thought it might be helpful for me to give some advice on completing NaNo this year! Even though I’ve literally never finished, I personally think I have some pretty great ideas…
- One thing that I find super cool about NaNo is that it tells you how long it’ll take you to finish your novel at your current pace of writing. It’s super entertaining when you see that you won’t finish until May 2018, and super motivating when you realize that you might actually finish at some point in November. I’m obsessed with watching numbers change, so I update it literally every time I write a stanza. The admins would probably think I’m crazy if they were watching, but I think it’s the #1 thing that keeps me writing even when I don’t feel like it.
- Chunk out a time every day that you are going to work on it. And do it. No matter what. This was what I really messed up on last year, I said that I’d write for 30 minutes every night before bed, but this was way too long and sometimes I’d get tired and just not do it. But you have to. Even if you can only write for 3 minutes, you have to make yourself write at a certain time every day, since any progress is better than none at all. For me, I’m going to write every time I open my laptop without fail.
- Don’t look back. 50,000 words is A LOT and can seem overwhelming at times. If you’re going to do this in 30 days, you have to ignore all of the plot holes, and the character description that keeps changing. Focus on the main plot, and if you change things as you go, do it, and just go back and fix the earlier (and now incorrect) parts in December.
- Find a reason to get excited. By now, we’re already almost 2 weeks in, which is right when the initial excitement starts to wear out and writing becomes a chore. Maybe you hit a dull part and don’t have inspiration, or maybe you realize that Love Interest #2 is actually super annoying and you’d rather have him lose to the demon in the pit of hell than end up with your MC. Award yourself prizes for writing small bits, or skip to a more exciting chapter, or talk to friends about their writing to keep your spirits up. Sometimes doing a quick collab can help!
- Collaborate!! This seems weird, and I’ll admit it is probably not going to be a popular suggestion. But I find it so helpful to head to the NaNo forums and find someone willing to roleplay a scene with or even just write a few paragraphs for you when you can’t think of where you’re going. Their writing style might not be the same as yours, but this could be just the kickstart you need.
Remember: it’s never too late to start!!! NaNo is a great community and super fun, so I would highly recommend getting involved even if you don’t think there’s even a chance that you’ll finish. Even if you only write one page, at least you did something!!
Are you doing NaNo? Send the link to your profile! What’s your best writing advice? Do you know where I could post my lame poetry story to get feedback? Are you a NaNo success story? Inspire others!!
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