NaNoWriMo Survival 101

This isn’t an official NaNo post for today (that will come later in the day), but as I am in the throws of planning for Chapter Seven, I decided that I need to write a NaNoWriMo Survival post. I was supposed to write this back in October, but just never really got around to it. So, here we go. The long over-due survival of NaNoWriMo post…

There are a few essential parts of surviving NaNoWriMo.

1. It doesn’t matter if you lose.

Yes, you heard me right. It’s OK not to win NaNoWriMo. Why stay up to the early hours, dodge important things that are not to do with your novel just because you haven’t hit the daily word count? Yes, we have pretty damned good days, but we also have our days that are not as sucessful. And, you know what? That’s all part of the creative process. In an ideal world, everything would be on hold during November, but, this is the real world, everything has to continue. And that means you have to juggle writing a novel with other commitments, in my case, university. But that’s OK, because NaNoWriMo is all about getting the novel written, getting something down on the page. It’s a bonus if you win, you know.

2. Have a Survival Kit!

Yay for the Survival Kit! This kit will involve things that will help you feel on top of the world whilst November rolls on. Stuff like caffinated hot/cold drinks, sweets, painkillers for curing headaches incurrred by staring at a screen for too long, notebooks and pens, your laptop/tablet, music that motivates you whilst writing and shiz like that. I don’t have an official kit, as I didn’t have time to find a suitable box to put these things in. But unofficially I have all these things anyway. As do most writers, both amatur and professional. So, yay for Survival Kits!

3. Take breaks!

Breaks, what wonderful things. Get up to make a cup of tea/coffee. Go into town for a bit. Take a walk. Call a friend, or have some people come over for lunch. Something that is unrelated to writing. You never know how it’ll help you get through a particular block in the plot!

4. Support Groups!

These can come in the format of wrie-ins, forums on NaNoWriMo’s website, chat rooms, social media or even non-writer friends! Last night my friends kept me motivated by feeding me with tea/threatening me with embarrasing photoshopped images if I didn’t hit a certian wordcount by the end of the night. Those are the kinds of people you need during November!

5. HAVE FUN!!!!

As I said before, don’t worry about hitting 50k before the end of November. Just have fun writing a novel, no matter how quickly/slowly it actually takes you to do it. It’s an achievement few people can admit to having completed, writing a novel. So relish it, enjoy it, have a ball! Make it worth all the blood, sweat and tears. I will, and I know you will too!

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