NaNoWrimo · Writing Guide

Getting ready for National Novel Writing Month

If you are a budding writer and finally want to get that book that’s been inside you on paper, now is the time!  November will be here soon enough and it is known to many writers as NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month.  

This will be my third year participating.  Okay, that’s not completely true.  I had said for many years I was going to do NaNo, but didn’t truly commit or make a plan to accomplish it.  Whether you are a planner or a pantser (I’ll explain those terms in just a minute) having a map for the month of November is the best way to give yourself a good start to completing that book.

Failure to plan is a plan to fail.

You definitely don’t have to outline the book you want to write, so don’t think that is what I mean by planning.  In NaNo there are often two kinds of writers.  Planners, who do a lot of work before they write their novel, outlining and perhaps researching their story so they are ready to dive in.  There are also Pansters, who “Fly by the seat of their pants” and write whatever comes to mind.  No matter what camp you fall under, it’s still a good idea to ready yourself for NaNo and plan ahead for a few things.

Are you going to start at midnight October 31st?  A lot of people use that time to gain both momentum and word count.  You won’t be alone, at least online, because other Nano participants will likely be writing as well and tweeting about it.

Set aside time each day to write.  Before you get started, plan a time each day to get those 1,667 words in each day.  You’ll be glad you did, because you will be less likely to fall behind and then feel like it’s going to take forever to catch up.  Plan ahead.  If you know you’re going out of town for Thanksgiving or to see family in November, maybe plan to double your word count for a few days before you go.  You’ll be glad you’re ahead, rather than behind, when you get back to your story.

Find some writing buddies.

Once you’ve signed up on the site, find some buddies.  You can do this by lookin through the forums or adding friends from your real life.  Each year you get to watch as your buddies work toward their word count, and let me tell you, watching them blast their way past you is a great motivator to catch up to them.  It’s not really a competition, but that edge can help me at times to work just a little harder.  If you’d like to add me as a writing buddy on, my screenname is Freudianslipped.


No running shoes required!  A writing sprint is where you buckle down for an allotted set of time and just write.  At the end you check out your word count and give yourself a pat on the back.  If you’re sprinting with friends, you might share word counts and encourage each other.  It’s a great way to shut off the world and get some of your writing done!

So there you go, there are my tips for NaNoWriMo!  Hope you have a fantastic National Novel Writing Month!

6 thoughts on “Getting ready for National Novel Writing Month

  1. Seeing as November 1 is a Sunday, I would love to stay up past midnight to start writing. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve tried in the past and never was able to stay up that long, lol.

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