Spring is kind of off-season for some writers because Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month, during which people set out to write a novel in 30 days or less) is in November and everybody needs a break sometimes and it’s not even Camp Nanowrimo yet. It’s not off-season for me, I like writing throughout the year, and so I thought we’d explore how the noodle you can write a book as fast as in November but still stay sane. I think there are a couple of key elements to this:
Find some friends
The #amwriting tag on twitter is great for hooking up with friends who are writing, like right now. To some people this is kind of crucial. The community of Nanowrimo gets people through the month with ease, hey maybe even a smile, and so finding people to talk to might be the push you need. I’m on this tag a lot because I love to take breaks and talk to people in between the words so if you fancy a friend hop across!
#5amwritersclub is also a great gang to tweet with as you write. A lot of people find solace in writing so early — before the world is awake and you have so many demands placed upon you. For me it is the opposite of fun but we all have to find our own patterns and I’ve discovered that 5am is not to my taste.
Another key element of Nanowrimo is that there are pre-determined goals. These are explicitly stated over and over again and just in case you didn’t notice there’s also a graph to tell you how far behind you are today on the website and oh look there’s also a progress bar beside your name in case you had forgotten. Some people find preset goals really handy for writing and developing a 30 day habit (at least). You can go lo-tech and draw a chart at your desk or on a scrap bit of paper, or you can go high-tec and make a speadsheet with word counts in it. There are a few great ones already in existence if you don’t fancy making your own. Justin McLachlan has made a great spreadsheet that is COLOUR CODED and you can download it it here, plus here is a link for donating if you want to support Justin!
For people who want to keep track of everything Svenja Gosen has made one that tracks plot, characters, and other story-driven information! This is super handy for the more detail driven writer, I think, so check it out here.
If you’re not keen to have a spreadsheet open while you write, and have a word processor like Scrivener, you can set it to a word count per day (and tell it to reset every day), which is also super handy. I do this a lot because it’s simple to do and I can also train myself to slowly write more and more based on goals.