Ready, Set, NaNoWriMo, & Tips for Survival

keep-calm-and-nanowrimo-on-8Ready, Set, NaNoWriMo

Halloween once held the distinction as the gateway to the holiday season. No more. Now it’s known as the last day before hundreds, and hundreds of thousands of fingers will begin racing frantically across keyboards in libraries, at Starbucks, on trains, at home and work desks, at the kitchen table, on sofas, and park benches, every single day of November.

The goal is to write 50,000 thousand words in a month, a novel. I wrote the first draft of my novel during a NaNoWriMo. I keep excellent company. Several authors penned their now published works during a NaNo month. Pop over to the NaNoWriMo site and check out the list if you don’t believe me. It is possible to write a novel in a month during November or any other month if you commit to a daily word count.

1,667 words per day! It’s the writer’s daily goal starting November 1, and every day until the last day of the month.

Tips to surviving NaNoWriMo

  • It helps if you have an idea for a story. If you don’t and are still on the fence about committing to a month of madness, check out this primer It’s not too late to take the plunge. Don’t worry, stay calm and dream on.
  • Carry a journal, tablet or a smartphone with you at all times
  • Make time in your daily schedule – seriously. Take a moment today and book time for you and your idea. Creating a calendar invite for a creative date is a good idea even if you don’t commit to NaNoWriMo. I work outside, and inside the home, thus I book daily writing times with myself. If you put yourself last (most of us do) or flake and say, I’ll get to it later, take a few minutes to create calendar invites and send them to yourself. I find three or four writing sessions per day work best for me. You’re the master of your universe; you decide what’s best for you.
  • Writing is a verb. When you sit down to write – write.
  • Pour, brew, or order your favorite drink, before the writing sit-in begins.
  • Reread the last page or previous one hundred words before you start – not the entirety of your project, just enough to get your head in the game.
  • Turn off the television.
  • Mute your phone.
  • Close your browsers.
  • If you have a fact to check while writing – make a note in your WIP, highlight it. Later, when you’re not clickity-clacking across the keyboard, you can research.
  • Carry your characters around with you, if they start arguing or working through a scene, stop whatever you are doing and jot it down in your journal. Trust me on this.
  • In between writing sprints, spend some time planning for the next day’s sit-in. Give some thought to the next scene, next conversation, the next 1,667 words. Plotters make notes to follow. Pansters tap into the cosmos and their ethereal selves. I suggest a combo of both.
  • Show up each day and write.
  • Do not stop once you start.
  • Have fun!
  • Keep Calm and NaNoWriMo On.

Even if you don’t participate this month, make a daily date with yourself for your passion, whatever it happens to be, and enjoy the time you set aside for you. DON’T FLAKE.

What are your plans for November? Christmas shopping or writing a novel?


I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

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