NaNo might kill me this year.
Well, NaNo on top of work, and Codigo and blogging…it might kill me this year. But I can’t bring myself not to do it. I always enjoy it and look forward to it each year.
So, I’m going to try. I’m not going to take it too seriously.
Though, knowing me, I’ll force myself to finish it, to get to the 50k mark. I’m too stubborn not to.
Before I jump into what I plan on writing next month, I wanted to share these tips I have That work for me when I participate in NaNo. I shared these in my NaNo planning post from last year, but that’s okay! They’re still helpful, and helpful reminders. Plus, I’ve garnered quite a few new followers since then, and these tips might help them – if they’re participating!
This will be my 10th year in a row (I started as a Senior in High School). You can check out my NaNo journey here. I’ve probably talked about this before, but my biggest fear and stressor is falling behind. Every year without fail, I hit a lull, around the 1.5-week mark and words become a struggle. It often leads to me skipping days and then having to make them up. It sucks, not gonna lie. Missing a day here or there, it happens, life happens. But I’m talking about big roadblocks, writer’s block, the days where words legit refuse to form – those days screw me every time. I end up super behind and rushing to finish thousands of words in the final days.
So, here are a few tips that I apply to myself every year –
- If you’re on a writing roll, you’ve met your daily word count (and time permits) keep writing. Rack up an extra 100, 200, 500 words. That way if you miss a day, or don’t have the time, energy, etc to write, you’re not as far behind.
- If you do fall behind, it’s not the end of the world. I know it feels like it is, and stress and anxiety enter into your life and makes you feel like crap.
- Just breathe.
- NaNo is supposed to be fun, and a way to get your butt in a chair to write. It’s fun to ‘win’ and hit that 50k mark, but it’s not a necessity! Any words you do write in November, is that many more than you had prior and that is always a good thing!
- Try not and get discouraged if you see other people with much higher word counts. It’s not a race against them.
- Remember this is only a first draft! (if it’s not, remember you’re trying to write 50k in 30 days) your story isn’t going to be perfect.
- If you hit writer’s block, just write. I know that probably sounds contrived, but just write.
- Whether you skip ahead to the next scene, or just write anything – even if it’s out of character – writing is the best way to push past.
- Though, if that isn’t working, and you can’t even get 100 – 250 words on the page, it’s always a good thing to take a break and come back. It’s better to do that, than stare uselessly at a computer screen for hours not accomplishing anything.
- Take a walk. Listen to some music. Read a book. Watch a movie. Cuddle your pet. Do something to give yourself a break. NaNo is a very easy way to burn yourself out. (I know I take most of December off and just relax. Creatively I’m often pretty burned out)
- Having people cheering you on is always a benefit. Have a few people, a person in your corner, IRL friends or online – someone you can talk to/at if you hit a point in your story.
- Do a bit of planning – I’m not a plotter, more of a plantser (I’m mainly a pantser). I usually have a vauge idea of where I want my story to go, some key moments I want my characters to hit. If you’re a full-on plotter/outliner – I envy you. If you’re not, we’re in the same boat and that’s okay! Go full creative outlet mode!
Now, I know there are many of these types of posts out there, and a million different ways of making it through the next month. As much as I wrote this post for the newbie NaNo-er, it’s also serving as a reminder to me that NaNo isn’t make or break. It’s supposed to be a fun activity to get people to write and tell the stories that they have swirling around inside of their heads. I’ve always enjoyed NaNoWriMo – stress and all. It’s my excuse to try and write one of the shiny new ideas that have been floating around in my head all year.
If you’ve been following my Writing Updates, then you know that 2020 has not been my year when it comes to writing, so my goal for this project is legit to just take it easy. Aim for 50k and don’t stress too much. I haven’t fallen out of love with writing, I just need to remember why I love it. Between work and life and a puppy, I honestly don’t have much time for writing. It sounds like an excuse, but by the time I do have some time, I’m so thoroughly exhausted that 9 times out of ten, I sleep.
But I’m rambling. Let’s jump into what I’m, planning on working on!
Usually leading up to November, I’m antsy and anxious to get started. Usually I have a story I’ve been itching to write. Well, for the first time in years – maybe since I started doing NaNo, I really don’t know what I want to write. The problem is that I have so many Shiny New Ideas that I want to write, that I had a hard time just choosing one. My friend really wanted me to write this Vampire Reincarnation story that I started earlier this year, so I’m going to attempt that. I already have a pretty solid, but not too detailed outline. So, I know what needs to happen…for the most part.
Since this is legit draft one of this story, I’m not worry about whether or not language is correct (there are scenes that take place in the past) and I’m not going for historical accuracy. I’m just going to write it based on what I know and maybe one day revise the hell out of it.
Here’s a brief synopsis:
A Vampire saves a dying girl. In doing so, he connects their souls. This act pisses off the God of Death who wanted to claim her pure soul for his own. In retaliation, he curses the Vampire to be alone. The girl ultimately dies, but because their souls are connected, she comes back. The cycle repeats for 300 years before they finally figure out how to stop it.
I am excited to write this. With the reemergence of Vampires in YA, I’m ready to try my hand at them. Oh, and please feel free to add me as a buddy on the site! I love checking out other people’s progress and seeing how they’re coming along with their stories!
Like past years, I will be doing Weekly Updates – a check in, sharing my counts and potentially a short scene or snippet/sneak peeks that I wrote that week. These updates will be in lieu of my typical Writing Update post at the end of the month. Feel free to share your own progress in the comments! Even if you’re not participating in NaNo, or are just working on some other writing project, I’d still love to hear from you! Writing is always more fun when there’s someone in your corner cheering you on.
I hope everyone is prepping for NaNoWriMo 2020 – and I’ll see you on Day 1!