NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow! Are you excited? Nervous? NaNoWriMo can be a fun experience, but also a stressful one. Don’t fear! Here are eight things to keep in mind during your noveling quest:
1. Reading is like Oil
This is a sure-fire way to keep your imagination rolling! Read your favorite author’s books and get sucked into their world. Some writers don’t agree with reading and writing at the same time because they feel that the author’s style may seep into their own. However, reading before writing isn’t a matter of imitating the craft of another writer, it’s about keeping your imagination on standby. Read for enjoyment!
2. Keep a Journal Handy
There’s nothing more frustrating than forgetting a perfect scenario, idea, or conflict that would’ve brought your novel to life. Unfortunately, ideas have a way of popping up when you aren’t near a pen or paper. You can eliminate this frustration by keeping an idea journal nearby. It may also be a good idea to keep a second journal around for freewriting to shake off the cobwebs before delving into your manuscript.
3. Have a Receptive Mindset
It’s a wise idea to be in a receptive mindset to cultivate ideas for both current and future manuscripts. Also, try to be open to new ideas that pop up during the drafting phase. Forcing your novel in these new directions could be just the thing your story needs.
4. Close Out Negativity
Negativity can appear from anywhere: from the lips of our loved ones, from our bosses, from our supervisors, from the world, or even from a complete stranger. However, the wellspring of negativity is strongest within us. Heck, writers have even given it a fancy name: the inner critic.
The critic is a major “fun sponge.” It will find reasons to tell you why every idea you come up with is stupid. Not only that, but it will make you hesitate or doubt yourself. It’s your job to tell it “no.”
Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
-Steven Pressfield, Do the Work
Don’t get me wrong, the critic is a necessary force in editing but not with creating.
5. Claim Your Kingdom
When you sit down to write, make sure it’s at a time and place comfortable to you. If you’re a morning person and you love to feel the rays of the sun kiss your cheek when you write—write then! If you like the feel of the carpet under your toes and a nice cup of java in your hands—do it. If you like to write in the dark with the sound of your spouse snoring—have at it. Claim you spot and write like Kings/Queens.
6. Be a Time Thief!!
Always use any free time given to you to write your quota of words. Write during your half-hour breaks or as you wait for your kid in the school parking lot. If it seems like you don’t have time to write, try making a point of getting something written in the morning before starting your day. There’s always time… you just gotta seize it.
7. Follow the North Star
What got you into writing? Was it because you hoped you could make money? Become rich and famous? Was it for a loved one? You? Maybe you have something to say or prove?
Whatever it is, make sure it makes you feel like crap when you quit. Keep it in mind as you write your way through November and let it be your determination. Let it force you to the finish line and, when November is over, let it remind you that this is just the beginning.
8. Have Fun
Write what tickles your fancy and have devilish fun with it! (I don’t think I can explain that any simpler, do you? 🙂 )
Good luck out there, WriMos!