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Monday, October 31, 2011

Nah, Nah, Nah, NaNo!

It's that time of year again. No, I don't mean Halloween. I mean the time where eager writers from all over the world frantically prepare for November 1, the official kick-off of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).



Goals will be made, caffeine will be consumed, and many, many words will be written. Loved ones will roll their eyes, and later in the month, they will hide in fear. Laundry will pile up. Fists will pound keyboards in frustration. Sleep will be lost, and new friends will be made.

NaNoWriMo is an exhilarating time of year!

While I'm not participating this year, I am writing a first draft. I love this phase of a book. I'm most creative when I'm writing a first draft. So for all you NaNo-ers out there, I will be cheering you on.

If I can encourage you to do one thing, it's to log the time you spend writing, the number of pages you've written, and your word count. Don't be afraid to break your writing sessions up. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in thirty minutes. The log will boost your spirits when you feel as if you're not moving forward quickly enough.

Other advice? 
- Lower your expectations for all other aspects of your life.
- Plan a few takeout meals if you normally cook every night.
- Take two minutes to deep breathe if you're getting tired.
- Stuck on a plot point? Have no idea what to write next? Jot the scene basics on notebook paper and explain the goal of the scene to yourself. It should unblock you. If you're still stuck, go back and read the last chapter. I'll bet something triggers your muse.

Are you NaNo-ing this year? What advice do you have?

Enjoy your Monday!

27 comments:

  1. Great suggestions, Jill. I'm a no,no for NaNo this year.

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  2. I'm doing a first draft, too, Jill! I won't be doing NaNo this year (haven't worked up the courage to try it yet), but I'm cheering on the hardy souls who do! Your tips are great during those other hectic times when we're chasing deadlines. Thanks!

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  3. I almost did it but instead I'll be diving into some rewriting!

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  4. I'm not, but I'm going to use this month to work really hard and get this WIP I've been working on for AGES done!!!

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  5. I'm NaNoing, and I'm ridiculously excited about it. I havne't done it in several years. My tips are to tell the world that you're participating so that you have a lot of people to keep you accountable. Also, make sure you have your family on board.

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  6. For better or worse -- or maybe because I've lost my mind for real this time -- I'm taking the plunge. Reaching for 1.7k a day for the next 30...but more importantly, I'm hoping to re-instill the habit of writing everyday.

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  7. I'm working on a new first draft amid finalizing INTO THE DARK to query, so I'm not doing NaNo, but your advice is great for those brave enough to jump in. Good luck to everyone participating!

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  8. Good morning!

    Em: Ha! I'm a no no too!

    Kathy: I love seeing all the #NaNo tweets this month. It pushes me to excel even when I'm not participating!

    Laura: Ooo, fun! Isn't it great to be wrapped up in a project?

    Katie: Oh, I know that feeling well. :) Good luck!

    Julie: Hooray!! And those are both great tips!

    Constance: Woo-woo!! I know the feeling. I've been chugging along with business and pre-project stuff for so long, I'm nervous about diving back in. I want writing every day to be a habit too. :)

    Stacy: Ooo, fun! How exciting you're getting ready to query! Yay!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  9. Being a nano newbie, I'm really excited to see exactly what my capabilities are. I've never pushed myself so hard. Ready, set...

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  10. No NaNo for me...but I admire those that do!

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  11. I NaNo'ed last year, this year I NoNo. But, best wishes to all those writers lining up at the starting line!

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  12. I'm not participating, but have set daily writing goals for myself to play along.

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  13. Good tips! I'm no Nanoing this year--in fact, I just decreased my daily word count because I needed more balance in my daily tasks. But hey--I'll still be rooting everyone on.

    My advice? Jot down ideas for scenes and what you'll be working on next, then make sure you have a specific time period scheduled each day to focus specifically on writing. Pull out your ideas and go to town! If you already know what's coming next in your story, it's so much easier to start writing and keep writing that full thirty minutes, or hour, or however much time you set aside.

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  14. I am NaNo-ing! I'm excited about it, and totally not ready. lol...

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  15. I'm not participating either, but I do think NaNo is a good thing to do if you're up for it.

    After finishing three books this year I think I hit the wall, though I am toying around with another idea. Just what I need another story in my mind. :)

    Good luck to all the NaNo writers!!!

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  16. I love first drafts,too. They are the most fun thing I can do on my computer. I just don't feel like doing drafts 2, 3, or 4 anytime soon.
    Ha Ha. Good luck to all of you dedicated writers out there. Maybe the laundry fairy will come and do some laundry.

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  17. I'm debating. Either way, I'm starting a new story this month and I couldn't be happier.

    Great tips!

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  18. No Nanoing for me this year...I'm in the middle of deep edits. But I wish all Nanoers many words! :)

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  19. I'm shadowing NaNo this year, and I'm really excited. You've given great advice here. My advice is to lock up that inner editor in an envelope and not let him out until 12/1.

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  20. Blogger is eating my comments! AAAHHH...so to all who just responded, fabulous tips--enjoy November whether you're nanoing or not. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  21. I'm doing Nano again, this my fourth year, and this is the year I'll finish a draft from start to finish. Last three times didn't go well.

    My best advice is important for those who struggle with revision later-

    1. Right now, just finish, and have fun!

    2. Be willing to cut yourself some slack.

    Taurean

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  22. Taurean: Congrats on participating! And good luck with your new draft. I agree--don't revise the first draft or you'll never finish. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  23. I'm doing Nano this year. * Raucous laughter in the background * We'll see how it goes. So far today I'm at 0 :)

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  24. That was a great post! So much wisdom in so few words!

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  25. Great advice. I have decided not to offically do Nano but to unofficially write alongside those taking part. Following my romantic friday writers featured writer success, I decided to try my hand at a romance novel and have written 1900 words so far. Fingers crossed I can succeed.

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  26. No NaNoWriMo for me, but I am setting writing goals for this month. Finish one or more first drafts of my incomplete mss, and get back into communicating with other bloggers! October pretty much saw me vanish for a while, and I miss the interaction!

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  27. Jaime: Get your coffee IV out, lady! I'm rooting for you!

    Rahul: Thank you so much for the kind words!

    Madeleine: That's what I'm doing too, and it works for me. That is awesome about trying a romance--I love writing romances and hope you do too!

    E Louise: Great goals! I'm trying to find a better balance with keeping up with my blogger buddies too. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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