That cold chill up your spine?
Yes it's that time of the year again.
NaNoWriMo is upon us at any moment; in fact by the time you read this it might already be too late, but probably not.
Writing 50k in 30 days is not as hard as one might think but that is not to say that it's a doddle. Either way stick with me and we’ll get through this. So assuming you know what you're want to write and you are motivated to win let's do this thing shall we?
Think of it as your personal ‘Eye of the tiger’ as you climb your Philadelphia Museum Steps to Nano victory. Get a playlist done and make it a big one.
You will be listening to it a lot.
The idea is to press play & go, no skipping around on YouTube looking for that song that makes you feel just right. I find that songs with lyrics only distract me and the words end up colouring my work, but that's just me. Here's a few of my favourites:
Wordless writing playlist on spotify graciously donated to the wordsmith cause by @RachaelCGrant
Movie Osts are great for Noveling (even ones from sucky movies)
Pacific Rim Ost
Game of thrones Ost
After earth Ost
City of bones Ost
Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters Ost
A few other recommendations:
Two steps from hell - Illusions
Two steps from hell - Solaris
Lindsey Stirling - Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling - Shatter me
right enough of that, seriously I could do this all day.
#2 Coffee –
And lots of it, whether you're using it to slap you awake you for an early morning session or to help you keep the sheep at bay during an all nighter. Coffee is your best friend, I recommend an IV for efficiency.
If you are just better than the rest of us mere mortals, you can of course just drink tea.
We won't think any less of you.
But you'ill know,
you will know.
#2 Good seating –
This might sound a little too tree-hugging-vegan for most tastes but let’s do the math shall we?
50k in 30 days shakes out to 1666 words a day to win.
If it takes you 3 hours of applied butt to seat time to get your words down + 8 hr work day =
11 hrs of sitting per day.
244 hours of chair time for the month & yes I've catered for weekends.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that 11 hours of sitting followed by 7 hours of sleeping is not good for you. So pick a good chair, sit up straight, take breaks and for effsakes go get some exercise too!
Not only is it good for your body but it will also help you beat ‘the block’ when it comes a creeping.
#3 Alarm clock &/or Stopwatch-
Not only to get your lazy ass out of bed but to help you to be more effective with your time.
Clock your sessions 20 mins = 600 words. Then try and beat yourself, some people work slower than others so wordsprints demoralise more than they help. Remember the only person you are competing against is yourself.
Good writing may not be about the number of words one can generate, but it is the only measure by which you can track your progress.
Don't get hung up on it, but pay attention & growing digits will motivate you.
Set all your writing kit out the night/morning before. That way you will not be scrambling for your special pen or your lucky writing hat in the dark.
If you pre-empt your distractions, you can shoot them down in advance.
When everything you need is within arms reach you have no reason to get up.
Put a bottle of water on the table (trust me) & TURN OFF your phone.
#5 Support –
remember above all the best thing about Nano is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
There are thousands of other people the world over going through exactly the same thing.
If you're not on twitter, Nano is the best reason to be there, you will meet so many writers it will make your brain bleed and they are ALL awesome.
Go sign up, do it now,
Also, hit the NaNoWriMo forums make friends join in with wordsprints on twitter but above all
– don’t use it as an excuse not to be writing. Show encouragement for others and spread the good vibes it's a party atmosphere so get involved, make friends & be part of the community.
Some useful hash tags are:
#wordsprint or #wordsprints
To find time to write you need to make the time.
Nobody cares if you ever finish you novel and I’m sorry to say that, but it’s the honest to Dagon truth.
So make writing a priority, block the time out as if it were an appointment and get your words done.
If you work days then get up early and take advantage of the silence in the house. If you’re on night shift treat it as your wind down before bedtime.
Lots of people write during their lunch breaks.
You will find time in the most unlikely of places all you have to do is look.
Above all no excuses, I won’t know if you’re telling the truth – but you will and you are way more judgemental of you than I am.
Write everyday and even if you don't make 50k you will have developed a worthwhile writing habit to take with you into your future projects.
*BACK UP YOUR WORK CONSTANTLY there are two types of people on earth,
those who backup their work and those who are about to learn the hard way.
Develop a reflex CRTL + S habit & copy everything to an external flash drive.
If the folder is small enough you can even e-mail it to yourself as an attachment.
Do this everyday.
*Any Alphatype its basically an electronic typewriter. Keeps you off the internet and away from distractions, you can take it ANYWHERE
– let that sink in for a minute. Yup you can write there too.
They make for very effective time use, if I do say so myself - certainly beats twiddling your thumbs.
*Donate to NaNoWriMo - seriously, it costs you nothing to do, so no excuses.
Also you get a halo over your nano avatar so there's that - it's probably the most angelic you will ever feel.
*Pocket notebook & pen – ideas can (& will) hit you anywhere, any time (like a bus) so be ready.
Also check both ways before crossing the street.
*Make Notes in the margins- remember you are only writing the first draft, don't be precious with you word choice. If you don't like something use the strike through and move on.
*the Block - there are hundreds of ways to beat the dreaded block but here are two
1. skip the chapter and move to the next point, you can always reverse engineer it later
2. put your main character in the worst situation you can possibly imagine - then watch them work it out
*Headphones – perfect way to block out the world help you focus on the job at hand it also signals to anyone around you to leave you alone.
*Warm socks / Slippers because lets be honest, cold feet suck.
Good luck everyone write hard, build wonder and above all be honest with yourself.
I look forward to seeing you all in the winner’s circle!