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Strategies For A Successful NaNoWriMo


My apologies for the unplanned hiatus. I got socked with that yucky bug going around, and this is basically the first day I've been able to breathe well enough to string coherent words together, so on with the regularly scheduled program:

As I said earlier busy-brained and NaNoWriMo go quite well together. The fast-paced nature of writing 50k words in 30 days helps kick procrastination and writer's block out of the way, but it's still no easy feat, especially with those of us that tend to be a tad bit disorganized. That's where my beloved strategies come into play. By setting the groundwork for a successful month early, it makes life a lot easier later in the month when you feel out of control and behind on literally everything, not just word-count.  And while there are plenty of sites that will give you great tips on how to prep for the actual writing part - outlining, character development, etc., there aren't as many that deal with the stumbling blocks that can hold you back.

Stock Up

Caffeine and sugar often receive credits as the go-to writing snack, and the message boards are full of jokes about abusing both. While it's fun, for a while, to ride that caffeinated sugar buzz while you type out all the words it's not sustainable. Combine that with ADHDers tendency to forget to do meal prep or suddenly find yourself completely drained of all energy to the point where making food seems like the hardest thing ever, and it's a recipe for grabbing handfuls of leftover Halloween candy and burning yourself on the crashes later. That's why it's very important to have a pantry stocked-up of easy, healthy choices that will keep you going and doesn't take a lot of work when you're too fried to make good choices. I keep Kashi bars, Soups On The Go I can microwave and sip as I work, string cheese packets, and pre-portioned baggies of fruits and veggies.

Take It Easy

Let go of everything you possibly can that isn't vital to your life-functioning until after November is over. You're going to drop the ball more than once during NaNoWriMo, so it helps to not have too many up in the air, to begin with. And when you do unintentionally drop the ball or two don't be hard on yourself. I know it;'s hard because we have a tendency to be critical of our failures but give yourself a pass this month. Beating yourself up emotionally isn't going to get you anywhere so be gentle with yourself as much as possible this month.

Give Everyone A Heads Up

It's not a bad idea to give those around you a heads up about what you're doing and what it means. Let friends know that you won't be as available to them as you normally are. Ask family members to pick up your slack on housework for November. If someone wants you to volunteer your time or energy for something that isn't absolutely necessary, don't hesitate to turn them down. It's hard to say no, trust me I know, but it will feel worse if you're scrambling to fit everything in and find time to write. This is your time; you deserve this.

Stick With It

Even when you feel like you've written yourself into a corner or way off the map and into a completely different story, don't give up. Stick with it until the end of November - you might surprise yourself. Or you might completely hate it but at least you stuck with it, and that's a really great feeling!

Words Are Words

Any word you write for NaNoWriMo is a word that counts towards your word count so don't censor yourself or delete them. Even if you have to write nonsense got a while - stream of consciousness is a writing style afterall so just go with it until you get back on track, or invent a writing style.

Good Luck and Keep Writing!


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