NaNoWriMo 2019 has begun, and though I’m not as prepared as I’d like to be – I’m still struggling through my hefty October goals, I’m already preparing in other ways.
I’ve done NaNo quite a few times at this point – this will be my Eighth year, not including many a Camp session on top of that. I know what works for me, and I know what to do to help me get through the month with 50 thousand words at the end.
The most valuable tip I could give you, having experienced this as many times as I have, is simply this:
It’s all about how you start.
The beginning of the month is CRUCIAL. It’s when you have the most excitement and the most energy for a new writing project. Or you have a burst of energy for an old one.
If you have the time, write like crazy during that first couple of days. Spend the extra minutes or hours on writing where you can. Double your daily word count goal. It gives you a nice little cushion for the rest of the month and when you already have a healthy word count, it’s that much easier to stay committed to finishing the draft. It gives you the motivation to write on those bad days.
I’ve won the past couple of Nano sessions with that exact tactic. I try to get the first half – that’s 25 thousand words – in the first week to ten days.
So I’m revisiting a challenge I’ve done in the past to help boost up my word count at the start of NaNoWriMo, and if you’re worried about meeting your word count this month, I encourage you to join me!
I’ll be doing a 12-hour writing challenge on Saturday, November 2nd. Yup, that’s tomorrow. I’m going to spend a whole day writing to try and boost up my word count.
But I’m taking a very different approach.
I find that if I try to work 12 hours straight, I get frustrated and tired and antsy, and I eventually give up. I might end up with a decent word count, but I want to know what that word count would look like if I actually spent 12 hours writing.
So I’ve come up with an outline that schedules 12 writing hours throughout the day, with gaps between for me to relax, stretch, and get food. I’m hoping it will keep me motivated to write for those twelve hours and stave off the burnout.
My schedule for tomorrow is as follows:
As you can see from the schedule, I’ll be starting my writing challenge tomorrow, November 2nd, at 7:30am EST and it’ll end at 10:30pm EST. That’s 12 hours of dedicated writing time with 3 hours of break sprinkled in between. It’s pretty intense, but it offers lots of time for me to step away and tend to both my physical and mental health, with longer break periods for lunch and dinner.
I’ve never managed to hit 10k in a single day, though I have come close with a word count somewhere in the neighbourhood of 9.2k. Maybe tomorrow will be the day? Keeping my expectations realistic, of course, I hope to get 2-3 chapters finished, and I’m aiming for a word count goal of around 6.5-7k.
I’m just so excited about this NaNoWriMo – I’m excited to write and I’m excited about everything I’ve got planned for you guys! I’ll be posting a new NaNo tip every Friday from now until the end of November so stay tuned!
If you have the time, I really encourage you to use the first week to your advantage. Write as much as you can – trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it when the middle of the month slog hits.
Also, I’d love it if you joined me tomorrow! Let me know in the comments below if you’re going to join me on this crazy writing challenge, whether you spread it over the weekend, do 12 hours all in one shot or work according to a schedule, kinda like what I’ve got planned here.
Happy Writing, Wrimos!