NaNoWriMo can be completed with not as much effort as one would think. For another quick read (and procrastination aid) here are the five habits of successful NaNoers.
- They make their daily word count a non-negotiable. It’s as vital and routine as brushing their teeth or putting pajamas on before bed. Regardless of what happens in their day, who they see, what they do, how long they work, they make sure they get their writing time in!
- They take care of themselves: they shower, eat, sleep, see friends, read, watch movies. You can’t be a good writer if you don’t care of yourself. The “starving artist” is a myth and true NaNo successes don’t waste away on a diet of coffee and no sleep. Take care of yourself and you’ll write better for it. You’ll have enough energy, clarity, and creativity to get your 1667 words out every day with little effort.
- They let themselves be inspired. Wherever and whenever inspiration strikes, they don’t question it, they just run with it. Inspiration comes from a variety of places during NaNoWriMo: tweets, current events, things your friends say, photos you see on Pinterest. Don’t question where the inspiration comes from, if it’s valid, if it fits in your story, just make it work. At best, you’ve come up with something new and clever for your story. At worst, you’ve gotten your word count for the day and will edit the section out later.
- They don’t put pressure on their WIP to be perfect, complete, or the next great American novel. They know this is a first draft, the first run of a novel they’ll spend time editing, revising, and maybe even attempting to publish. But all that comes later, after November 30th. The more pressure you put on yourself, the harder it will be to get your daily word count done. Good intentions can only get you so far, so turn off your inner editor and just write!
- They keep a notepad close by. When something unrelated to their story that they want to research comes up, they write it down to look into later, rather than letting themselves be distracted and robbing time from their daily word count. It can be so easy to get distracted, to get pulled away from your daily writing. Get ahead of the distractions by writing them down, finishing your writing first, and THEN looking up whether or not Tom Hiddleston is married. You’ll get so much more done!
- They write first. We all get busy, especially during the holiday season. Parties, friends, Christmas movies, festivities of all sorts can occupy our time. Successful NaNoers write before they do anything else. Wake up, roll out of bed, grab a cup of tea and a piece of fruit, sit down at your desk, and crank out those words! You won’t have to think about it or beat yourself up all day long, or attempt to write 1667 words at the end of the day when you’re tired, fed up, and so not interested in your main character.