There have been so many things going on in daily life that I almost forgot that Nanowrimo was sneaking up on me. National Novel Writing Month is waiting at the beginning of every November, giving us thirty days of writing pain and glory. A lot of people put off writing, claiming that they have other things to prioritize or that there is just too much stress in their lives already. I, on the other hand, cling to Nanowrimo as the one thing that holds me to my writing goals. I’ve pushed through novels during two school years and one year where I was living on the other side of the country for the first time.
I absolutely love everything Nanowrimo.
Here is my formula for getting through the month (yes, I know it isn’t for everyone):
- I begin as a planner, with a vague plot map and a character that speaks loud and clear. This will be my third year writing about the same character, but you might want to add a character resume to that map. Don’t worry. IT WILL CHANGE.
- I have a playlist. It isn’t a definitive list of songs, but rather a grasp on what is going to drive my writing for any given day. Usually this means pulling up specific songs on Youtube or praying that Pandora has what I need. It changes from story to story, one book needing Tyler the Creator and Breaking Benjamin while the next book needed Fuel and Godsmack.
- Know that without a doubt you are not writing gold. First drafts are trash and there is no way around that no matter how hard you hit your head against the desk. Once you let go of the need for literary gold the faucet will run freely. TRUST ME.
- Reward yourself for that awesome word count. Reward yourself for that cool idea you didn’t see coming or that one line that you’re so proud of. Give yourself something in return because writing is WORK. I like to splurge on iced coffee and spend time watching TV with my hubby as a reward.
Mind you, this is my method for writing fiction. You don’t have to write fiction for Nanowrimo. You could write a memoir. You could write poetry. Hell, you could write a cookbook. I’ve always wanted to write a cookbook.
It doesn’t seem easy at first and it won’t along the way, but it’s only a month. One month out of twelve. You will be tired at the end of the month. You will be ashamed of your work. You will be proud of your work. You will have created something that wasn’t there before. You will have done that.