What You Need to Know About Participating in NaNoWriMo for the First Time!
March 18, 2019
Camp Nanowrimo is coming up this April. Are you planning on participating? Do you have any concerns?
Well I can help. I participated in NaNoWriMo 2018 in November and I am proud to say that I reached 50,000 words. Struggling to write consistently has been one of my biggest problems and I was so proud of myself to say that I conquered it!
Now, those 30 days were hard! A lot harder than I thought they would be but I overcame some obstacles and I achieved my monthly goal. It is so doable you just need to plan ahead.
If you were thinking of taking part in NaNoWriMo but didn’t
know what to expect or maybe you did and your word count fell short. Here are
some tips to help you prepare for Camp Nano whether you plan to participate in April,
July and/or November.
Prepare for 30 Days
The game plan that I opted for was to have 30 plot points to
refer too if I ever got stuck. Now, I know there are a lot of Preptober
workbooks out there, but I wasn’t ready to spend money on that until I knew if
I could do NaNoWriMo with my own tools.
Guess what! I did it and learned a quite a few things along
Preparing for the month of writing is good because there
will be days when you do not want to write. You might not have the time to
write either. But that is okay because if you have enough points to refer too
you can always write something down.
Also, if you are writing a brand-new novel idea that you
just came up with these next couple weeks are crucial to help you prepare in
order to succeed.
Figure out what time of day you can write. Click here for tips on creating a writing schedule no matter what your lifestyle is!
This is basically mapping out your month and scheduling in times to write. If you have three different events and a birthday party to plan, this month might not be for you or you need prepare ahead of time.
Knowing what days you won’t be able to write will help you
bank words in the beginning so you can stay on top of your word count. Set
phone alarms, get a writing buddy or just discipline yourself to sit down to
write at the times that you have schedule. Believe me, it is so worth it!
We all have busy lives and writing can be hard at times but
that’s why we plan ahead.
Daily Word Count
Since NaNoWriMo’s goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, your daily word count is 1667 per day. Writing almost 1700 words is a lot. Especially if you are just beginning writing or your novel idea is very green it will be difficult but not impossible!
Personally, I have been working with my storyline for FAR TO
LONG! Like 10 years too long I just never took the time to sit and write words
down on paper. Finally, I can say that I am half way done my first draft.
But when I started out, writing 300 words was a challenge.
So take the time to see how fast you write and how many words you can get in
within an hour. This way you can schedule accordingly.
If it takes you an hour to write 600 words, then you will need at least 2 hours and a bit to hit the daily word count.
To help you keep track of your word count here is a free printable calendar to keep you motivated and on track!
Outlines are good to keep you on track but don’t let them
derail you. If you are stuck on a section, move past it and continue on with
your characters journey. This way your creative juices are still flowing, and
you are progressing – not only your word count but your storyline too!
I always wrote in chronological order and if a really trick
scene came up or I couldn’t figure out the setting I would stop. I would put my
WIP away and let it sit but NaNoWriMo taught me to jump past those points
because I still needed to hit my word count.
NaNoWriMo is a time where you can buckle down and get some
words on the page but it is also a time where you create.
I came up with so many new ideas that I would not have
thought in my regular day to day life. The consistency of writing every day and
writing a lot (1667 words is solid chunk of page) I was able to work through
plot points I was struggling with. Also, new ideas came to light with where I
can take my storyline because you are spending so much time with your
characters every day.
Have FUN with NaNoWriMo!
This is the most important part of the NaNoWriMo journey! We
are all in this community to help encourage and inspire each other to write our
stories and to be heard. If you write a thousand words or ten thousand words do
not feel discouraged because you are thousand/ten thousand words ahead of where
Also, if you fall behind or I should send WHEN you fall
behind because you probably will. Writing every day is a challenge. Do not get
discouraged! You can always make up time by shuffling your schedule around. Try
your best to hit your target and go from there. Some days I wrote 300 words,
other days I hit 2100. Sometimes the creative flow just came to me and other
days it was a struggle. But the fact still remains, make sure that you are enjoying