Once again, it’s November and that means Thanksgiving, Black Friday and NaNoWriMo. All of which are demanding and rewarding at the same time. The pressure can be overwhelming but as they say pressure makes diamonds.
In my household, planning Thanksgiving dinner alone is a feat and one that is prepared for weeks in advance with guest and grocery list making. Not to mention the great debate of which pies to make, pumpkin or sweet potato? Chocolate cake or cupcakes? Ice-cream or whipped cream? Only to end up making them all. Yum. And as far as Black Friday goes, forget it, between long lines and horrible parking-I’ll just click away on Cyber Monday.
So, I’ve got those problems solved but how in the world do I write a novel in 30 days? Well, I don’t have a crystal ball for that one but I have learned a few things in preparation for the 30 day marathon. And that is:
Don’t panic! Which is so much easier said than done. I’m a pantser by nature. I write from the seat of my pants. I get to my computer and I just go, go, go. And what I’m finding, even lately, is that outlining-just a little bit-helps me to organize those sprinting thoughts. In prep for this year’s NaNoWriMo I made it my business to create a loose outline of chapters to give me that “ahead of the game” mentality. Especially for a pantser about to write almost triple the words I’m used to writing every day in order to win, it has been beneficial. And creating an outline does not diminish the spontaneity of the work as some would believe, it’s just a way to color inside the lines, neatly.
When you sign up for NaNoWriMo-get the buddy badge by reaching out to other writers. I can’t stress enough about camaraderie and encouragement from folks who know what you’re going through and want to see you succeed as well.
Participate in write-ins. Put in your Region on the NaNoWriMo website and join in local write-ins at libraries, coffee shops and book stores. Having a place to go each week with like-minded folks gives you the extra nudge to finish. It’s something to look forward to, especially if you’re like me with a day-time job. You’ll meet different people at different stages of their work and perhaps even get a critique partner out the deal.
These may be tips that have already been presented to you or have crossed your mind but whether you’re a seasoned NaNoWriMo member or a newbie, let’s make this the best month ever. As always, stay focused, stay encouraged and Rock On!
My NaNoWriMo profile is under Marlena M.- send me a shout out. Also, if you haven’t already, please join us at #Novwritingchallenge on twitter. For more information about the twitter writing challenge visit the organization site at writingchallenge.org. You can follow me @NLakeWriter.
Happy Writing and Good Luck!