National Novel Writing Month is only 10 days away from starting, and yes you did read that graphic right, 30 days to write 50,000 words.  Presented that way it seems like an impossible task.  But if you think of it as 1,667 words a day, it makes the task seem doable.  For my second year in a row, I am going to attempt to do this.  Last year, I found out about NaNoWriMo half way through the month and only managed to get 5000 words written.

This year I have learned somethings that contributed to my failure last year.  My biggest mistake was waiting for my Muse to talk.  You can’t do that when you have a deadline.  A writer must keep on going putting words on the page.  After you have gotten your goal written, then you go back to edit it.  Which was another mistake of mine.  I tend to edit while I type.

I have been teaching myself to just write and not worry about the editing until later.  One way I have done this is using Write or Die by Dr Wicked and following the NaNoWriMo Word Sprints on Twitter.  Write or Die lets the writer set a word goal and a time limit to reach that word goal.  Then as you are writing along, if you pause too long, something awful happens (but not to your writing!).  The NaNoWriMo Word Sprints is kind of similar.  Usually an Intern with NaNoWriMo is moderating it, but they tell everyone to write for a certain number of minutes and call it when time is up.  There are no word count goals, just the drive to write as much as you can in the set amount of time.  Both of these have been very helpful in getting me to write when it’s like pulling teeth.

Another mistake I made is that I went in to it blind.  I had no plan to my novel.  I didn’t even have a genre picked out before I started typing.  I am discovering that it is okay (and encouraged) to plan ahead, ie figuring out who your characters are, where the story is going to take place, what genre it will fit in, etc.  Those are things I never thought of last year.  But this year, I will have those things all figured out before November 1st.

I am excited about this year’s NaNoWriMo.  I truly hope I will be able to complete the task and be able to change my participant badge to “winner”.

Links to help you if you are doing NaNoWriMo:

Good luck to everyone who is participating!!!

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