Hi guys, so this is the second guest post here and just like this previous one it concerns what is on every writer’s minds right now, NaNoWriMo.
Yes I know that I already have two posts concerning NaNoWriMo but I figure that this way you get a little bit of advice from everyone so you can decide what works for you.
Now today’s post is written by Alexa from MisfitAlexa who let me tell you , is pretty awesome. She has some great posts on her blog that I definitely
encourage you to go read.
Well that’s enough from me so let’s see what Alexa has to say about NaNoWriMo.
Hello, my distant misfit friends!
My name is Alexa, and I was given the lovely opportunity to guest post for my friend, Enette, here on Enette’s World! As I’m sure most of you know, we’re in the middle of one of the most important months of the year for writers: NaNoWriMo! If you’re participating or attempting to get back on track like I am, then let me tell you, my friends, you are not alone.
One of the most important parts (and really, the most basic part of the rules) of National Novel Writing Month is writing 1,667 words a day so that you can achieve the 50,000 word goal by November 30. Now, there are people who don’t write every day and some people who are even able to write only on the weekends. I give those people a lot of credit, because coming from someone who’s behind a few days on their word count, I know that I need to be writing every single day to stay on track for the month.
So, I thought that I would offer you guys some tips on how to get into the habit of writing every day.
One of the best tips I can give you for remembering to write every day is to set an alarm. I know (after multiple nights of doing my word count at the last minute) that if need be, I can finish my word count in forty five minutes. So, I take the time I know I need to go to bed depending on what I have the next morning, and I set an alarm about forty five minutes or an hour before that so that I know that no matter what, I will have time to finish my word count.
To be honest, alarms are my best friend.
If you need some motivation to get your word count done in a timely manner, try some word sprints! Usually, there’s always word sprints going on throughout the month on @NaNoWordSprints (https://twitter.com/NaNoWordSprints), and even if there isn’t one going on at the exact moment you need it, retweet it yourself and just do a little “war” on your own! No one will blame you, and if it gets your word count done, who cares what anyone else thinks anyway?
Cheat (Kind Of)
Okay, so this one is kind of a side-trick, but I know that it’s saved me plenty of times. Along with trying to do NaNoWriMo, I’m also in college and obviously, I have my own blog, as well. Because of that, I’m writing a lot of stuff outside my word count in the forms of papers, blog posts, and discussion boards for school.
I wrote those myself, so why not include them?
Yes, I guess this would technically put you under the “rebel” label on NaNo, but it’s not like you’re plagiarizing someone else’s work or lying about your word count. You wrote the words (be it for another project), so use them! Usually, I keep a separate folder on my Scrivener for projects that I include in my word count that don’t apply to my novel, so they don’t get interwoven in my manuscript when I compile it at the end of the month. But, since it still appears under my “manuscript” folder and not under “notes” or anything, it still carries into the word count meter!
I would just say as a rule of thumb to only use words you write that day in the word count. It would definitely be a little bit of cheating if you included a research paper you wrote two months ago on your monthly word count, wouldn’t it? But hey, NaNo operates on the Honor System, so whatever you need to do will work.
Talk About It
This one is kind of huge, and I mentioned it in my blog post at the beginning of the month here (http://misfitalexa.com/survive-nanowrimo/), but simply telling people you’re trying to write a novel will be a huge helper for you. As a college student, I know a bunch of my friends like to hang out and watch movies or go out together, so if I tell them I need to work on my word count without being horribly annoying and a downer, they usually respect it. Besides, if you can work on writing out your words as quickly as possible, just tell them to give you an extra hour or two to work and then you’ll be good to go.
Visuals, Visuals, Visuals!
Throughout my childhood and now, into my adulthood, I’ve always been a huge proponent of visual inspiration. Before the days of Pinterest, this resulted in multiple dream boards being posted in my bedroom as a kid and when I was old enough to get a computer, I started making tons of boards on Pinterest (I dare you to explore my Pinterest now, it’s so ridiculously organized). I have a few different boards for writing, as well as private boards for most of my main characters, so that I can use it as inspiration.
That also goes for word count inspiration and calendars that I have posted pretty much everywhere. I have a printout of the one from the NaNoWriMo website hanging on my wall, and I have a word count calendar as my computer, phone, and iPad backgrounds. (If you want to use them yourself, you can subscribe to my newsletter and get some fun goodies included there!) All of these tools have helped me a lot to stay on track!
Don’t Get Down On Yourself
My final tip for everyone, is really to not be too hard on yourself when you don’t make word count or you fall behind. For instance, I’m about three days behind, and I know I just have to work twice as hard to get it done. The worst thing you can do is just stop when you get too far behind, so pick up your bag and get back on the keyboard, because you can do it!
Well, folks, those are the tips I have for today, and if you’re interested in reading more of my stuff, check out my blog at http://misfitalexa.com, especially as this Tuesday, when I’ll be posting on writing crises during NaNo and how to survive them.
Have a great week, and good luck with your counts!
What do you guys think? Have you used any of these tips for staying on top of your word count? What are your goals for this week on keeping on track?