NaNoWriMo is such an exciting initiative. There’s something magical to joining a community of writers all working simultaneously to accomplish the same goals and build stories. Writing is very much a “solo hobby”, so it’s nice to feel part of a community, even if just for one month.
That said, NaNoWriMo can also be extremely stressful. Writing 1,667 words/day is no small task. Many writers have other obligations, like their day jobs. For others, the sheer required numbers to write a 50k novel in a month is overwhelming. This event is extremely fun, but it has its downsides too. Today, I’m going to bring you a few tips I learned in my years participating in NaNoWriMo. Many seasoned participants will know these things already… but a reminder never hurts. 🙂
Excitement for Your Project
One of the first ingredients for a successful, fulfilling NaNoWriMo experience is to be excited about your project. This was a major help for me – I never went into NaNoWriMo without a specific project in mind. Knowing the threads of the story I wanted to create pushed me to sit at my desk every day and type.
That said, there are many people who sign up knowing they want to participate but don’t know what they want to write. That’s okay! It’s fun to get swept up in the excitement of the event itself and totally wing it. Still, if you want to write a 50k novel in a month, it’s good to know what you are writing. If this sounds like you, you may be running out of steam just about now. Don’t let that excitement falter! It’s time to call in some backup.
Get Your Friends Involved
If you were lucky enough to enter NaNoWriMo with some of your friends, then this is the time to get together – physically or virtually! – and have a writing session. You can talk about each of your projects and get excited about them all over again!
If you are running the event solo, don’t stress! I’ve been there too. Even if they’re not participating, your friends and family can be some of your strongest advocates! Tell them about your project and they’ll help keep you accountable and even cheer you on. They’re also a great resource if you get stuck – sometimes just talking about where you’re at in a book can help you solve a problem or get out of a corner, and if that doesn’t work, a different POV may help!
Take Care of Yourself
At the end of the day, you are more important than your NaNoWriMo project. If your project is bringing you more stress than joy, then it’s time to re-evaluate your project. Maybe take a few days off, or extend your deadline. After all, it’s better to take care of yourself and write something good than rush and be miserable!
If you’re still all-in, then make sure you are doing the little things that bring you joy. If you can write outside, try that! Make your favorite beverage just for writing-time. Wrap up in a fuzzy blanket. Treat yourself to some of your favorite sweets or snacks as you write. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most, like treating yourself and remembering to hydrate.