Poppy’s NaNoWriMo Survival Guide – My Top 9 Tips for Success!

It’s that time of year again!

It’s almost November, which means it’s time for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. Flush with victory from last years NaNo, I’m going to share with you the top 9 things that helped me to write 50,000 words in  less than a month!

Click Here if you’re like “What the heck’s a NaNoWriMo?” For the rest of you here we go…

1. Scrivener Writing Software

Available for both Mac and PC,  Scrivener changed the way I write. I consider it the best writing software on the market. It’s full of  so many great features and I encourage you to check it out. During NaNo they offer a Special NaNo Trial  that allows you to download the software to use during the month of November for FREE. The trial lasts through December 7th, and if you “win” NaNo you get a 50% off coupon.

2. NaNo Word Sprints on Twitter (@NaNoWordSprints) – You know how I feel about a good twitter word sprint!  These are fantastic and fun and happen everyday throughout the month. If you find yourself lagging during the month, sprints are a great way to kick start your word count

3. Find Your Writing “Sweet Spot” –

Last year when I started NaNo I decided to try something different. Instead of writing at home, I went down to my local coffee shop to write. I went in on November 1st a stranger and by November 30th, they were bringing me my Mango tea before I could even order it! Wherever it is, find the place that you feel the most comfortable writing. This may take some trial and error. But once you find your “Sweet Spot”, writing there will start to feel like home!

4. Beat your “Internal Editor” into Submission – You know what I’m talking about! Your internal editor is that voice inside your head that is never satisfied with the words on the page. The key to winning  NaNo is learning how to turn that voice off and just write. If you make a mistake, you can fix it later during editing. Here’s a great quote by Ernest Hemingway…

I love that! Your first draft is not going to come out publisher ready. That’s what editing is for. If along the way you realize you’ve made a mistake in something you’ve written, leave yourself a note, and keep writing. Remember ABSOLUTELY NO EDITING DURING NANOWRIMO!

5. Track Your Progress –

During the month you’ll be able to keep track of your word count and progress from your very on NaNo Stats page. Each day when I was done writing, I just loved tying in my word count for the day and seeing my little graph change. There’s just something so motivating about seeing myself getting closer to my goal.

6. Attend a Local Write-In – Under the My NaNoWriMo heading, you can choose what region you live in. This will allow you to access that regions forums, where all kinds of cool people who live near you are organizing meet-ups and write-ins during the month of November. I’ve participated in several, and have loved them all. Already in the forums for my region, people are organizing days and times for write-ins. Take advantage of the local support!

7. Make the Time –

To “win” NaNoWriMo you need to write 1,667 words each day. For most people, this means finding time to write in between work, school, family and friends. Don’t be one of those people who say “I don’t  have the time,” when the truth is, it’s just not a priority. We make time for the things that are true priorities in our life. So if you’re really serious about completing NaNo then you need to carve out some writing time. That could mean…

  • Waking up early to write before work or school
  • Missing a night out with your friends
  • Shutting off the TV early
  • Spending less time online (bye bye tumblr!)

Whatever you need to do to make the time do it!

8. Devour the NaNo Pep Talks – Each week you’ll get an official NaNoWriMo Pep Talk delivered to your NaNo inbox. The pep talks are written by published authors like Piers Anthony, Meg Cabot, Kristin Cashore, and Neil Gaiman just to name a few. They’re inspiring and full of great info and advice from people who understand what you’re going through…so READ THEM!

Also for you YA writers out there, this year YA Highway is offering NaNo Inspiration e-mails. Sign up to receive daily inspirational e-mails that will help you through the month.

And last but not least…

9. Have Fun! – This is the most important tip! Most people participate in NaNoWriMo because they’ve always wanted to write a book. If you’re one of those people look at this as a chance to mark one more entry off your bucket list. Writing is a fun, crazy and frustrating process, but I’ll never forget when I typed my 50,000th word last year. The feeling of accomplishment was immense. Write for that. Not because you want to be the next J.K Rowling or Suzanne Collins (though wouldn’t that be awesome!). Write because you want the world to meet your characters and hear your story.

Anyone have any other tips to add?

Add Me to your NaNoWriMo buddy list

About Poppy

Having been an avid reader since the womb, Poppy is finally sitting down to write that book she's always talked about writing.
This entry was posted in NaNoWriMo, Poppy Wisdom and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Poppy’s NaNoWriMo Survival Guide – My Top 9 Tips for Success!

  1. yhosby says:

    Hey Poppy,
    I love all the tips. Good luck with NaNo this year! I especially love the advice of first drafts are complete crap, so turn the inner editor off. It’d get stressful trying to make the draft sound perfect while still trying to keep up with word count.

    Keep smiling,

    • Poppy says:

      Thanks Yawatta! That inner editor is a beast! For me, learning to silence it has helped my writing immensely! It tries to creep back in from time to time, and I quickly shut it down!

      • yhosby says:

        I can turn it off if I’m writing my drafts in a notebook, but if I type on a computer, then I can’t help it. That was probably my downfall with the 90 day challenge. From now on, I’m sticking with old school—notebooks.

        Keep smiling,

  2. yhosby says:

    Reblogged this on yawattahosby and commented:
    Poppy gives a great list of tips on succeeding with the NaNoWriMo challenge that everyone should look at for November if participating.

  3. Hello Poppy,

    I really enjoyed this post! I actually found your youtube video first and enjoyed it a lot, so I thought I would come check out your writing blog. I love meeting writers and following their blogs. I’ve followed your blog! 🙂 Can’t wait to see what more you come up with! Also I am doing NanoWrimo and added you as a buddy.

    Thanks for the great Nano tips! 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      Thanks Devin! I love meeting other writers too. It reminds me that I’m not the only crazy one out there trying to write a book! I’m excited for NaNo, though technically I’ll be cheating a little since I’m not working on a new manuscript. But I’m okay with that!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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