Here’s a link if you need ideas…
I recommend participating in the November 14th Donation Day at the NaNo site – this program runs entirely on donation day and I’ve been saving my giving till now to help my region. :-)
I’ve been seeing a bunch of peeps hit the dreaded Week Two Wall in the NaNo challenge where the initial endorphins have faded and the grind of their new schedule sets in. I’ve seen words like “can’t,” “shouldn’t,” and “haven’t.”
We all know this feeling, whether we’re doing a writing challenge or not.
I’d like to chat about what I consider to be a NaNo “win”:
- Your very best = a NaNo win
- Achieving your goal numbers = a NaNo win (ex: my goal this month is 30K, not 50K)
- Finishing a project = a NaNo win
- Forming new and amazing writing habits = a NaNo win
I think people get twitchy about some things that don’t matter during the month of November. You remember the cartoon I posted at the beginning of the month, right?
The Office of Letters and Light, those crazy cats that run this November challenge, have the right idea. Their slogan is: We believe in ambitious acts of the imagination.
There’s a reason why they refer to November as “30 Days & Nights of Literary Abandon”…
NaNo should be fun.
However, if you’re still feeling the push to “Go 50K or Bust,” I found the tips below as I poked around the site. I was astonished to realize, I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo since 2007 and never once looked at their welcome message. [FYI: It seriously rocks.]
Behold their Tips for Successful WriMos (i.e. writing 50K by November 30)…
Here’s a quick overview of the things we wish we had known for our first NaNoWriMo:
1. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. You’ve read a lot of novels, so you’re completely up to the challenge of writing one.
2. If you feel more comfortable outlining your story ahead of time, do it! But it’s also fine to just wing it.
3. Write every day, and a book-worthy story will appear, even if you’re not sure what that story might be right now.
4. Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December and beyond. Think of November as an experiment in pure output.
5. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn’t.
6. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.
7. Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November. This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month.
8. Seriously. The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse.
9. There will be times you’ll want to quit during November. This is okay. Everyone who wins NaNoWriMo wanted to quit at some point in November. Stick it out. See it through.
Above are the NaNo team’s words. They have them squinched together into just a few tips, but I spread it out. All this wisdom needs to be heard. (Full welcome message here.)
Now, for my #10. I lifted this from one of my inspiration posts at Writers In The Storm:
10. Wherever you are on your writing journey, DON’T STOP.
The best is always yet to come because we keep improving the more we do it. I heard Linda Howard speak at a writer’s conference in San Diego some years back and I’ve never forgotten her words, which meant so much to me.
“Everybody dreams,” she said. “But writers are special because they write down their dreams.
“As writers, we can do anything and be anyone. You can be astronauts or spies or time travelers. Writers can go to amazing places and build imaginary worlds for others to visit.
“The sad fact is that no matter how hard you try, the music and the magic of your dreams will never be equaled by the words you put on a page.
“Do it anyway.”
Every writer in that room started crying because it IS so hard to translate the grand scope of our imaginations into words on the page. The words never seem quite big enough or important enough to express the magic that lives inside our minds.
My hope is that, even on those days when you feel that all is lost, when you wonder why you ever believed that YOUR words were important, you keep at it.
Do it because you have to. Do it because you need to. Do it because the act of sharing those words is more than most people will ever attempt.
And finally, do it because no one else will have the inner ear to hear the words exactly as you do, the strength to birth them onto the page, or the vision to translate those words into the perfect story that floats from your heart to ours.
DON’T STOP. Your story is calling you.
What is the most painful part of meeting your goals for you? Are you like me where it’s hard to get started? Perhaps you have a hard time being organized or prioritizing the time. Whatever it is, enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!