NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. Tomorrow’s Halloween, and the day after that–or that midnight, if you can’t stand the wait–you get cranking. 50,000 words in 30 days or 1,667 words per day. Are you ready?
Don’t worry if you’re not. Don’t freak out. 48 hours is still plenty of time to sketch out a few character ideas and the outlines of a plot. Here are some tips by Chuck Wendig, and Mur Lafferty is running a series of short podcasts of NaNoWriMo-basics to keep you on topic and motivated.
But look, the chief thing I learned last year is that plans fall apart. Stories and characters change. There will be good days and bad days and great days and boring days. The real trick, at least for me, was to keep my motivation up.
So what does that take? Accountability: get your friends and family on board. Routines: create one and rely on it; find a time and place to be productive. Rewards: little bonuses for staying on target; and bigger if you stay on target longer.
And, perhaps most important, patience. There will come a day when you fall short, for whatever reason. Things come up. Or maybe you just sit down, and nothing comes. Don’t beat yourself up. A few extra words a day, and you’ll be back on target in no time. Just relax. The missed day is gone, so focus on today. Focus on the next word, the next sentence, the next paragraph. And it’ll get done.
Good luck, everyone!