Saturday, November 11, 2023

Two Keys to a Successful NaNoWriMo

Scott D. Parker

I’ll admit something: I’m a little bummed I’m not doing Nation Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, in the official way. I really enjoy the camaraderie of writers all channeling their energies into creating 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. It’s a blast and I’ve already booked November 2024 as my next official NaNoWriMo.

But this year? I’m not trying to start a new book. I’m actually trying to finish one. Thus my own spin on the name: NaNoFiMo. I’m driving to finish a book by 30 November. I didn’t start the month on fire with daily word count, but I am about to have some time off on Thanksgiving week and I think I can make up time.

That’s one of the keys to a successful NaNoWriMo:

Stay Flexible

If there’s one thing you must keep in mind as you write your story this month is to stay flexible. Writing a novel is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Each day, however, can feel like a sprint, and you treat them that way. The sprint is the 1,667 words. But here’s a huge weight you can lift off your shoulders.

Don’t get too bogged down in the daily weeds. Maintain the overall goal: 50,000. Some days, you’ll blow past the 1,667 daily benchmark. Others you may fall short. You can make it up. Don’t lose sight of the end goal: a completed story. In the end, it won’t matter if you didn’t reach your daily goal for a third of the days and exceeded it on the rest. All that matters is a 50,000-word completed novel.

You know another key to a successful NaNoWriMo?

Have Fun

In every NaNoWriMo novel I’ve written, there is a wonderful urgency to get the words down. That’s good. But you are also the first reader of the book you are writing. Entertain yourself! Have fun.

My writing times are always in the early mornings before the day job starts. I rise at 5:00 am for these writing sessions.
The family is asleep and I am by myself with my characters and story. I open the laptop and start the daily writing. And I am gone out of this world and into the world of my story.

And I’m grinning at times. My heart races at other times. Heck, I’ve even teared up writing certain scenes. The thing is, I’m wholly invested in the tale.

It is one of the best feelings out there. We’re writers, after all!

So have fun, stay flexible, and enjoy NaNoWriMo.

No comments: