Keep calm. NaNoWriMo is coming. It is that time of the year again. It happens just after the masked, candy-induced hysteria abates, but slightly before the pumpkin-eating frenzy, begins. Let’s just say you shouldn’t volunteer to host Thanksgiving if you want to participate.
For those of you who haven’t heard, November is novel writing month and the goal is to write a novel, in this case a total of 50 000 words, in 30 days.
This is as crazy as it sounds. You have to write about 1 667 words a day, if you plan to write every day of the month. It is a big commitment, but it is also a great exercise in discipline. The competition grows bigger every year with more and more writers entering. You can read our planning advice here.
The support on the NaNoWriMo website is amazing. You can join forums and meet other writers in your area, but as with all things online the chances of getting sucked into the void where you end up watching hours of the International Ice Fishing Championships is always a risk.
I have to unplug my Wi-Fi when I do these things. So I have made a calendar that you can download and print to help keep you on track.
Click here: NaNoWriMo 2016 Calendar
Other writers understand what you are going through, because well, they are going through it too. But I would caution you against following anybody’s advice verbatim. They don’t know your story. They don’t know what you want to do. That is of course also a benefit. Listen to their advice, take it into consideration, but follow your heart.
As I said in the previous posts, planning will help you reach your goal. The focus is more on quantity than on quality, but with a little bit of preparation there is no reason why you can’t have both. Next week, I’ll share some brainstorming tools to help you when the words get stuck.
Good luck and keep writing.
by Mia Botha
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