10 tips for winning NaNoWriMo

It’s November 1, and that means NaNoWriMo—NationalNovel Writing Month—is starting today. If you are participating, here are 10 tips on how to win NaNoWriMo and write 50,000 words in November.

  1. Set a daily writing goal. To complete 50,000 nanowrimo_Fotorwords on November 30, you’ll have to write an average of 1,667 words each day of November.
  2. If that daily goal looks too big and overwhelming, break it up into smaller goals. For example, you could do four 500-word writing sprints throughout the day.
  3. Celebrate the milestones along the way to your 50,000-word goal. Reward yourself for reaching each milestone. For example, you could buy yourself a new book, to be read in December, for each 10,000 words you write.
  4. If you miss your daily goal and fall behind, don’t beat yourself up. Try to make up for it as quickly as possible.
  5. Try to write more than 1,667 words on good days to make up for less productive days or days you don’t have time to write.
  6. Avoid distractions. If you’re like most writers, the Internet might be your biggest distraction. Turn it off or use Internet-blocking software to make sure your writing sessions stay productive.
  7. Give yourself permission to write a “shitty first draft.” Try to turn off your internal editor while you’re writing. Remember that you can always go back and fix what doesn’t work in December.
  8. If you get stuck, skip ahead to another scene. You don’t have to write the scenes in chronological order.
  9. Don’t do it alone. Make friends with other writers who are doing NaNoWriMo, encourage each other, and compete against each other. That mix of peer pressure and support is one of the things that makes NaNoWriMo such a great motivator. Feel free to become my writing buddy on the NaNoWriMo website. Here’s the link to my profile.
  10. Remember that NaNoWriMo is just the beginning. Don’t start sending out your manuscript to publishers and agents in December. The months after NaNoWriMo should be dedicated to rewriting and revising.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Have you participated in the past? Please let me know or share your tips for NaNoWriMo in the comments.

Good luck for NaNoWriMo, everyone!

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