Nanowrimo what...?

For those outside of the online writing community, you might not have heard of Nanowrimo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and November is the primary month for this self inflicted madness. It is a wild ride but one I am indebted to for helping me launch my Gingerbread Hag series. For those looking to try Nanowrimo for the first time, I have some suggestions - use or discard as you see fit:

  • Daily word counts can be helpful but not if they make you feel too pressured. Hitting 50k in 30 days takes some daily diligence. Some people thrive under a predetermined word count. Some people need more spontaneous writing. I would say to try out a daily or weekly word count goal but don't get too fixated on it.

  • Don't edit as you draft. That is a key thing for me because when I hit around 25k words I start to wonder if everything just stinks and should I rewrite. DON'T WORRY. The goal of a first draft is just to exist. Don't edit as you go.

  • Community helps but it can be a time suck if you aren't careful. Commiseration or celebration with fellow writers can be wonderful, but don't let a quick tweet become lost hours of writing time. Advise your online friends that you may be absent a bit during nanowrimo.

  • Hitting the goal is nice, but it isn't everything. If Nov 30 comes and you only have 40k written, celebrate like anyone else. That is terrific and nothing to sneeze at. Be proud of whatever you finish during the blitz. Your work in November can lead to a published book so use the time to tell your story, your way.

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