So, it's the second day of NaNoWriMo. If you don't know what that is after I've explained it a billion times ... just read the post before this one.
I know a lot of people are hesitant to participate because the challenge is intimidating––but really, there's nothing to lose even if you don't reach the word goal. Trust me, I'm busy as heck. I'm always busy. But I'm still trying to find time in my hectic schedule to work on my novel. So you should try it, too. You might be surprised by how much you get done! And no matter how much or how little you get done, it's better than writing nothing at all.
Anyway, to those of you who have decided to participate, I've decided to put together a list of survival tips, being an experienced Wrimo myself. Hopefully this will help. :)
8 NaNoWriMo Survival Tips (In No Particular Order):
1. Write crap. Seriously. What you write is probably going to suck, and that's okay. Don't delete words. Don't think too hard about what you're writing. Just let go of all your inhibitions and write whatever comes into your mind. It doesn't matter if your prose is cluttered with filler or if you keep repeating yourself. It's all about getting out that first draft. It's about quantity and not quality. If you want quality, you can edit in December (or, you know, whenever). Write rants, internal monologues, dialogue, whatever. Write anything, and don't be too concerned with your plot.
2. Keep the NaNoWriMo website open at all times. Heck, make it your homepage for the month. I at least always have it open in one tab, so that every time I open my web browser, I'm reminded of what I'm supposed to be doing. That way, if I'm about to get on Facebook, I always get a wake-up call.
3. Get on Write or Die. This website is a life saver. It always keeps me focused. Enough said. Linkage: http://writeordie.com/
4. Have writing buddies. Doing NaNo alone is a sad, sad thing. Just explore the NaNo forums for anyone else who wants a writing buddy. If it's someone who writes at about the same pace as you do, that's ideal. Challenge other Wrimos to word wars. Adding a little bit of competition does wonders for motivating you.
5. Get ahead of schedule. Don't just stop at 1,667 words every day. If you get there and you still have ideas, keep going. I like to get at least a little bit ahead every day, because you never know when there's going to be a day when you'll have no time to write at all.
6. But remember to take breaks, too. Don't expect to sit down and write all 1,667 words in one sitting, or your poor brain is going to burn up. I'll usually write for 15-30 minutes and then take a break for a few minutes to think about what I'm going to write next. It's best to write in chunks over the day. That way you have time to think––and thinking is just as important as writing.
7. Exercise your wrists. I know one big problem I have that prevents me from writing is when my wrists start to hurt like crazy. I highly recommend doing exercises like these ones whenever you take a break from writing. You don't want to get carpal tunnel!
8. Find a song that really inspires you. For me, that song is "Blinding" by Florence + the Machine. It fits the mood and the story of my novel perfectly. Whenever I listen to it I feel excited about writing and that helps a lot to motivate me. I recommend finding a song that fits a particular tone/theme/character in your novel that will excite you about writing. Or it doesn't necessarily have to be a song. It could be a poem, quote, whatever. Just come up with a little reminder that will inspire you every day. :)
Hopefully that helps!
Now I should get off Blogger and return to writing ... *Waves*