Torrents of rain batter the ground, a relentless tap tap tap that echoes the numerous overworked keyboards of November’s ambitious. It’s that time of year again when mustaches are grown and the writers line up their papers (or laptops) in preparation for a marathon.
My reflection on last year’s challenge: Read More
NaNoWriMo and NaNoBloMo are two challenges issued to writers to encourage them to create content for writing or blogging projects. For me, 2016 seemed like the perfect time to attempt this challenge, being stuck in a small town with plenty of spare time to write. I just need a kick to start, I thought. At the end of the month, I came to one clear realization: the November-based writing challenge wasn’t for me. I did discover a bunch about how I operate as a writer – including the need for a structure and my tendency to work slowly – so the time I spent was not wasted. However, the process of setting a word-related goal was detrimental to my progress. I consistently felt the need to catch up on writing, even though I was spending hours in front of my keyboard.
Here are my tips to actually succeed at NaNoWriMo and/or NaNoBloMo.
- Make a detailed outline. Do this before November starts so you are prepared!
- Do all your detailed research well in advance. Ideally, this month is only for getting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.
- Set daily goals, but don’t follow them too closely. I learnt last year that forcing yourself to hit a certain number every day was detrimental. I think the best goals are setting aside an hour or two every day to write, no matter how much content you actually complete.
- Reward yourself for hitting your goals. Maybe you spent a good ten hours this weekend writing. If so, treat yourself!
- Schedule rest-days into your month. Writing non-stop for 30 days is a great way to get burnt out.
- Browse some NaNoWriMo/BloMo blogs. There are so many people out there that are willing to engage with you to help you this month.
- Forget about editing. This month is all about the numbers and you need to resist the urge to make your writing perfect. You can always edit in December.
- Have fun! If you’re not enjoying participating in the month-long challenge, make it into something you enjoy.
I think the supportive community involved in NaNoWriMo and NaNoBloMo is a great resource for people who hit the inevitable lulls that make continued writing a challenge. The lofty goal of thousands upon thousands of words are just that…lofty. Knowing that there is a little support and the that others are struggling in the same way you are, the goal of writing a novel (or a bunch of blogs) seems much more achievable.
My NaNoBloMo goal: 6 blog posts