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8 Tips for Optimising Your NaNoWriMo Time by Lucy Hay aka @Bang2write

Published on Monday, November 24, 2014 by

So, you’re doing NaNoWriMo, congrats! Really, congrats. Do know I’m totes behind you, chivvying you on. You can do this! W0000t! I’m even bringing virtual coffee and virtual donuts. Here you go:


And now: for a pep talk. Ready? Let’s go …

1) Destroy Self Doubt

Now is not the time for self doubt. Just plough on. I cannot stress this enough. The rest of the year you can worry over whether your sentences suck; or your plot is putrid; or your characters are clichés. Just get it done. MORE: Build It And They Will Come

2) Don’t Feel Guilty

It’s one month. Out of TWELVE. So what if your kids eat sandwiches in front of the TV every evening for thirty days. Is it going to scar them for life, seeing Mum or Dad pursuing a lifelong dream … Or will it INSPIRE THEM? So what if your friends don’t see you much this month – they’re probably sorting out Christmas arrangements, anyway. Your day job, okay, you probably want to actually do that, especially if people depend on you and stuff, but what I’m saying here is DON’T FEEL GUILTY. Just don’t. Just juggle and do it well. MORE: 6 Ways YOU’RE Stopping Your Own Writing Success

3) Don’t Go On Social Media …

Don’t distract yourself. Social Media is normally time well spent for writers building their relationships and careers, it’s true, but NOT during NaNoWriMo time. Time is of the essence. Look I’m not saying NEVER go on social media at all during November, just don’t let it affect your Nano Time. Do not check emails either. Just write! MORE: Using Social Media Well To Connect & Create Relationships

4) … Unless You Need Some Inspiration Or Moral Support

Okay, you’re stuck. I get that. Sometimes talking to other writers helps: either because you can spitball with them, or because they understand in a way non-writers don’t always. Just don’t fritter away the time – set yourself a certain amount of time, say half an hour tops. AND STICK TO IT. MORE: How To Make It As A Writer (AKA This S*** Ain’t Accidental)

5) Don’t Read Back

Here’s the thing. You have to just keep writing and do NOT read back every time you fire up your computer or open your notepad. It will slow you down. Feeling bogged down right now? You read back, didn’t you. DON’T DO IT. Just keep going!! MORE: 7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Yourself … And 1 Realisation That Will Set You FREE

6) Don’t Add Extra Stuff

Look, this is a first draft. It’s not going to be perfect. There’s going to be missed opportunities. You can go over it all and add stuff later – for now, if you’ve passed that point in the draft, write down anything that occurs as a reminder in your notebook. Again, just keep going!! MORE: 10 Tips On Being A Productive Writer

7) Set Yourself Goals & Reward Yourself

Do whatever it takes to keep yourself motivated. This is what I do: if I write 200 words? I’m allowed a square of chocolate. So if I can write say, 1500 words a day, I’m allowed a whole bar. Maybe that will work for you, or you could try its equivalent with your favourite movie or TV show if you’re on a diet (boo)? “5 minutes of your fave film/show, per certain word count” seems fair! MORE: 5 Career Strategies For Writers

8) Don’t Revise As You Write

As above. Seriously. Are you seeing a pattern here? WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE. Revise AFTER NaNo!! Don’t self sabotage, just do whatever it takes. MORE: Making It As A Writer: 25 Reasons You Haven’t Yet

Just get those words on the page and become a NaNoWinner!! Plenty of time for those all-important rewrites later … Good luck!

About Lucy Hay

10702111_10152476900206139_1803501930313754948_n (1)Lucy Hay aka @Bang2write is a script editor, novelist and maven of all things writing. Please check out her YA series, The Decision: each book confronts a female protagonist with ALL the possible outcomes of a single dilemma. Check them out HERE and/or follow as @DecisionSeries, on Tumblr and Pinterest.

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