I’m mixing it up a little…last week we were talking Brazilian wax treatments, this week it’s NaNoWriMo. You just never know what you’re going to get on ALL THINGS GIRL!
Well, it’s that time of year again. NaNoWriMo is exciting, exhausting, scary, fulfilling and insane all wrapped up into a blur of 30 days.
NaNo – what, you ask? I had no idea what it was when I first heard about it either. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s during the month of November and it is the mother of all writing challenges.
50,000 words in 30 days.
Crazy? Damn straight.
Worth it? Absolutely (at least, that’s what people tell me).
You see, I tried it last year. Like a deer in headlights, I entered the eight lane highway of writing frenzy. My prepared writing buddies zoomed around me and took off like a crazy New Jersey driver (I live in Jersey, so I can say that ). I was totally ill-prepared and eventually threw in the towel (not one of my proudest moments). I am not a fast writer. 2,000 words is a good day for me but I’m better prepared this year. I’ve outlined, written scene cards, fleshed out my characters. I’m ready and yes, I’m scared as hell.
Here are 3.5 tips from nanowrimo.org to get you from 0 to 50K in 30…
1. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now.
2. Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December and beyond. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.
3. Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November. This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month. The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse.
3.5. There will be times you’ll want to quit during November. This is okay. Everyone who wins NaNoWriMo wanted to quit at some point in November. Stick it out. See it through. Week Two can be hard. Week Three is much better. Week Four will make you want to yodel. And we’re talking the good kind of yodeling here.
The hardest part for me will be to ignore my inner editor. I’m forever writing, rereading, revising, rereading…hmm, I’m beginning to understand why I can’t get past 2K/day.
So did I convince you to try it? Already signed up? Not a chance in hell? If you answered yes to one of the first two questions, I’m sbunino on the NaNo site, buddy me and let’s win NaNoWriMo together! If you have any tips to share, leave me a comment, I would love to read your NaNoWriMo strategies.