On the eve of NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d give you a few last words of wisdom. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.
6. If possible, write at the same time/place everyday.
You’re more apt to stick with it and complete your manuscript if you have a routine (this is true for any new habit, including exercise). Maybe you get up an hour earlier and knock out 1k before work. Maybe you type on your lunch break. Maybe you wait until you’ve put your kids to bed and have poured a giant glass of wine before you pound out 1667 on your PC.
7. It doesn’t matter when you write, just write.
I know, this is opposite of what I just said, but not all the rules will work for all people. November is a busy month. Squeeze writing in when you can: while you wait at the doctor (because they are never on time), on your Thanksgiving flight home to see your grandma, or while dinner is cooking. Ten minutes here, twenty there, and you’ll eventually meet your goal.
8. Carry a notebook with you.
I am for serious on this. Hell, you should do this all the time, not just during November. You never know when a bit of dialogue/ an idea for a scene/ a new supervillain might hit you. You don’t want to be stuck in a boring-ass budget meeting and then lose your awesome idea for a fistfight between a zombie and a dolphin. Hours later when you sit down at your desk you’ll be banging your ahead against a wall because you forgot. Also, writing down what strangers are doing and saying is super creepy and gives you legit crazy writer cred.
9. Tell everyone you know that you’re participating.
This will serve several purposes:
1) It will impress the hell out of everyone
2) It’ll hold you accountable. After all, you don’t want to look like the asshat who didn’t finish their NaNoWriMo Novel after they bragged about it on Facebook. Your friends will mock you.
10. Embrace the shittiness of that first draft.
My Twitter pal Ksenia has a whole post about why first drafts don’t suck. I will tell you that unless you’re Stephen King, your NaNoWriMo novel will resemble a flaming pile of horse shit in places. DO NOT FREAK OUT. This is normal. There will be good parts that you will use and bad parts that will make you vomit in your mouth, especially if this is your first novel. The point of NaNoWriMo is to get that damn novel on paper. You can spend the next 11 month or 11 years revising the hell out of it. True story: Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus started out as a NaNoWriMo novel and then she revised it a billion times (slight exaggeration on my part) but you get the point.
Congratulations! You are now ready to start NaNoWriMo. Don’t worry my pets, I won’t abandon you. Go ahead and make me your writing buddy on nanowrimo.org (My alias is DRDSpice). I’ll also check in with you each Wednesday and share the first 500 words of my previous three NaNoWriMo novels (and the beginning on this years on Week 4) so you can see some truly shitty first drafts. And rather than a rejection playlist on Saturday’s, I’ll upload some inspirational anthems to get you moving toward your 50k goal.
Happy writing, friends!