I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.
-Johann Sebastian Bach
This is it, NaNos! Tonight at the stroke of midnight, writers across the USA—and even around the world—are starting our next novels. 50,000 words in 30 days sounds crazy, but imagine the payoff. This time next month, you could have a completed first draft of a novel. A year from now, you could be cashing royalty checks. Woo!
Here are 14 suggestions, reminders, and fun facts for ’14 NaNoWriMo competitors.
14. Divided equally, you should be getting around 1667 words per day. 4000 words one day and 100 the next is still 4100 words, but don’t put off too much on your word count, or you may fall behind.
13. Keep a notebook or other writing medium (even your phone!) on you at all times so you have somewhere to jot down notes conveniently when you get ideas. If you’ve got a long commute in the morning on a bus or train, that could be time to write! Always be prepared.
12. Let your family/roommates/cat know that you’re competing. If they see you typing up a storm, or if you have a designated period of time during which you write, they’ll know only to interrupt the creative genius in an emergency.
11. Outline a little; have at least the basic plot of the story ready to go so you can just go to town writing it.
10. Don’t outline too much, though; unless you’ve been planning this book for ages and know every little detail, let it go and just write your way to a solution.
9. Think about what you hope to get out of this experience. Do you want a full draft that you can edit and publish? Are you in it to say you did it? Or, admit it, have you been eyeing the NaNoWriMo winner t-shirt on the website for a month already? (All of these are reasons I’m competing, so no shame.)
8. NaNoWriMo groups around the country meet up sometimes to do writing sessions together. Check the website for info on groups near you.
7. Famous NaNoWriMo authors include Rainbow Rowell, Marissa Meyer, and Stephanie Perkins, among many, many others.
6. Previous NaNoWriMo winners have been published through Disney, Harlequin, Hachette, Harper Collins, Little, Brown, and Company, Penguin, Random House, Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, St. Martin’s Press, Tor, and Walker Books. To name a few.
5. Try to set aside writing time in an environment that works best for you. Get up a little earlier and write in the unusually-quiet kitchen; go to a cafe during your lunch break; hit up the library after work. You do you.
4. Tweet that you’re writing (#NaNoWriMo), and you’ll feel more motivated to sit down and write. We’re all in this together!
3. Make a pinterest board for motivation. Pin your dream cast for the film adaptation, clothes, places, or just colors and inspirational quotes that get you in the writing zone.
2. Relax. If you make it to 50,000 words, you are a champ. If you don’t, you are still a champ. Writing is hard work, and writing a whole book in one month is even harder. Go you for competing!
1. Get ready to be awesome, have fun, and go on a writing adventure!
Good luck, everybody! Can’t wait to read those novels one day.