By Steve Weddle
Yesterday, Holly West had some words to drop on you about NaNoWriMo. Last week, Thomas Pluck mentioned considering the push. A couple years back, Scott Parker took a crack. In 2009, Dave White talked NaNoWriMo.
For years, we've had tips and tricks. We've tried and made it, tried and failed. We've upped and downed with the best of them. You can check out the DSD NaNoWriMo thoughts here.
I have some suggestions, in case this helps.
First, sign up. That gets you community and badges and you can snag a discount on Scrivener.
Secondly, tell everyone. Post on FB. On Twitter. A few things will happen. Most folks don't care. Other folks will say "I think NaNoWriMo is dumb." Fine. Whatevs. I dig candy corn. Other people like Air Supply. So what? You use templates to write? You post your word count on Twitter every day? You share your writing playlist? Super. Whatever it takes. Unless you're writing your short story by carving the words into the backs of orphans, who cares? Do whatever it takes to get the words down. When you tell everyone, you'll also get a nice hunk of folks who will hug you. They'll share their NaNoWriMo account names so you can be writing buddies for the month. You'll get support. Tell folks. It's cool.
C, You'll want to listen to the recent Writing Excuses NaNoWriMo podcast. I've recently cancelled my XM subscription so that I can devote my ear time to listening to all the back episodes of Writing Excuses that I've missed. They do great work. Listen to this one & click the heart/like/subscribe.
4th, Have a plan already. If you don't have a plan, get one. A template. A guide. An outline. Something to guide you, so that you can spend your time getting the words down. Writer's Digest has a helpful guide for worksheets and cards and so forth right here. David Hewson has some handy Scrivener templates floating around, too. Those are just some of them. Google around for "novel template" and run. It ain't gotta be perfect, just done. Get to 50k.
Finally, find a way to reward yourself, whether it's each day or each marker. I don't know what you like, but whatever it is, do that for yourself once you hit your word count for the day or when you hit your 5,000-word marks or for each three days in a row that you hit your goal. Whatever. Don't beat yourself up. Whatever you do, you're getting those words down. You're kinda awesome, you know?
By the end of the month you should have 50,000 words. But even if you only get to 23,836, you've got 23,836 words down. Either way you'll need to keep at it. So get to it. We're rooting for you.