Surviving NaNoWriMo ’09

October 31, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Posted in Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice | 5 Comments

It’s time to NaNo.

Yes, it’s November again – time to attempt the crazy, impossible task of writing a novel in “30 days of literary abandon.”

Alyce has explained the basics of the insanity that is NaNoWriMo here so I won’t repeat what it is to you. Instead, I’m going for tips – and this is from a first time NaNo-er, so I’m learning more every day!

So, the first tip which seems to be the most important is to make sure you write at least 1670 words a day – if you’re going for the 50k goal, that is. If you’re going for 100k then you are mental will need to adjust that figure. Personally, I’m going to attempt to do more than that for if – and let’s face it, probably when – I run out of steam and start panicking.

Secondly, find some people who are also doing NaNo for support. Not necessarily people who you know in real-life – I have yet to convince any of my friends that they should be doing NaNo, and there’s only seven hours ’til kick-off here! – online people are just as good. I have some of my lovely twiftie friends taking part, and have joined my region on the NaNo forums. I’m actually going to a kick-off meet up with the local WriMos tomorrow – which should be exciting! (Obviously, if you decide to do that, remember all the internet safety stuff you’ve been taught. :) ) Support makes you less likely to fail because – well, people will know you’ve failed, and that doesn’t feel too good.

Download a calendar. Even if you just use it for your desktop, I’d get one – there are loads on the artisans section of the forums and on DeviantArt too – and they’re great for motivation. Motivation is key.

Find sites like ‘Write-Or-Die’ – a nifty little website which forces you to write. I’m serious. You may not produce your finest quality work, but this is NaNo – it’s quantity over quality. Go and get scared into writing!

Now my next is just how I feel, and I know people who disagree, but I would suggest not planning. Planning means you have expectations – expectations which may not be fulfilled when trying to write 50k around all the usual school/work/life/other writing commitments. I have a basic idea, but no real plan – I’m seeing where the magic of NaNo takes me.

Last point – plenty of caffeine and chocolate. My chosen source of caffeine is Diet Coke – and I’m stocked up ready :D
Good luck to everyone who’s taking part, I hope you all win – leave a comment here with your tips, and your NaNo username if you’re signed up and want some buddies! I’m NKD on there, and always looking for more friends to motivate me!

Only a few hours to go…get read, get set, NaNo.


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  1. Hello!
    I just added you as buddy for NaNoWrimo!
    I can’t wait to start!

  2. Good luck with NaNo! I can’t believe it starts today (not that I’m doing it). I guess there will be less blogging for the next month by all those participating. ;-)

  3. I – ahem – haven’t started yet. And I – ahem – have very little idea as to what I’m going to do. Oh, how I wished I could have come up with something to plan out! But I’m off to a local write-in momentarily, so I’m sure I’ll think of something!
    I’m Elusive on NaNo. Original, I know. ;)

  4. I didn’t really plan either. I didn’t decide to participate until a couple days before so I didn’t really have the time to plan anything. I think that is better for me though… I like going with the flow.

    lisaxcollins on NaNo =]

  5. Outlined 6 chapters and then stopped because it went against my pantser nature. There are local write-ins here, too, but I have to write in silence. Since this is my first time doing it, I’m not going to push myself too much to meet the daily quota. I’m just enjoying the challenge of writing everyday and doing my best to stick to it. You can find me under “DravensMom”.

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