7 Ways to Boost your NaNoWriMo Word Count
Guest Post by Author Alisha Lutz
National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, has arrived on schedule in November. It's that magical time of year where writers become antisocial, over caffeinated, and begin to see the early stages of carpal tunnel. Writing 50,000 words in a month is no easy feat and anyone attempting it should be both admired and sent to a crazy house. I first attempted NaNoWriMo in 2011 and have been a proud advocate of the event ever since. I love the challenge and how it forces me to take on my writing in a different way. I am lucky enough to also work in an office where I can get little spurts of writing in when things are a little slower. Not everyone is as fortunate; however, and life sometimes has a nasty habit of getting in the way. Here are some things have helped me increase my wordcount towards my goal during the whole year, but especially during November.
1. Change your writing tactic
Move on to the next scene when you get stuck. It's okay to skip around and come back later. This will give you time to think about that scene and tumble it around in your head for a little bit while you are working on other sections. Maybe those scenes will even help give you ideas for how they connect.
2. Start with something easy
Keep a list of easy scenes and save them for when you get stuck. Don't touch them until you are having writer's block. Then you have something to get you started that might snowball into other scenes you were not expecting to write.
3. Do your research
Procrastination could be caused by a lot of different factors but a main one is anxiety. Are you afraid to get writing because you are ill prepared? Instead of wasting time staring at a blank screen, do some research and build up that knowledge. Then get back to writing!
4. Give yourself an incentive
The reward system can go a long way in motivating the unmotivated writer. Don't go to dinner until you have hit another two hundred words. Hit record on your favorite show until you have another thousand words down. Is there a scene you cannot wait to dive into? Hold off on it until you have written at least two more "boring' scenes. I am doing this with the ending of my novel. I cannot wait to write it, so I am holding off. Knowing that it is still waiting for me motivates me to write faster so that I can get to it sooner.
5. Write in spurts
Are you losing steam after half an hour of writing? Take a break and come back later. That way your creative juices will have had time to marinate and you will be struck with fresh energy.
6. Have an accountability partner
There is nothing like peer pressure to keep you going when you feel like giving up. What would grandma think to know her grandchild is a quitter? Do you want your friends to mock you until next November? No! Try finding someone who will check up on you every day and force you to have incentives as they steal the remote and your favorite snacks until you are finished writing for the day.
7. Get a change of scenery
I usually write in my bed with my laptop perched on my lap. However, on Sunday mornings when my husband is at work, I drive on over to Starbucks for a change of scenery. It is during these times that I have my best writing sprints. Maybe they spike the coffee or something, but I am a firm believer in Starbucks writing sessions and getting out of the house in general. Just because you are writing like a madman does not mean you can't be around people every now and then. Just make sure you don't talk to them.
Do you have additional tips for NaNoWriMo? Share them with me and the rest of the audience. Share your NaNoWriMo profile and we will connect. I look forward to hearing from you!