NaNo Need-to-Knows: Tips for Week 1

Hey everyone, if you want to read my IWSG Post, you can find it here. If you would like to find the rest of the NaNo Need-to-Knows Series, just click here. 🙂

Today is November 1st, so I shared my three best tips for NaNo Week 1. The script I used will follow the video, if you prefer to read.

Since you’re hopefully rearing to get to writing, I’m going to keep things as short and sweet as possible.

So tip number one is write something. Anything.

A lot of writers get stage fright in the beginning of a writing project, because blank pages have a psychological impact on our creativity. So make sure your first page stops being blank as soon as you can. Even if you write something stupid like “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” or an entire scene about the character eating pancakes… whatever. Just write something down, because those first words will lead to more.

Tip number 2: Pace Yourself.

Maybe you’re different to me, but I’ve always found that the first section of a book is the second easiest to write, following closely on the heels of the climax and resolution. So once you get past the first page jitters, the words will be flowing in something like a flood, and it’s easy to be tempted into writing thousands on thousands of words in a day.

But.

You need to avoid that temptation and cap that amount at slightly higher than your normal word count. If your NaNo word count target is already higher, cap it a the amount you need to write.

Why?

Because you’re not in this to sprint. NaNoWriMo is a marathon, and if you don’t pace yourself, you’re increasing the likelihood of burning out. I know writers who only draft in NaNo and take an entire way to recover because they burn themselves out. Don’t do that to yourself. It’s better to write 20k or 30k every month than 50k for NaNo and none in the rest of the year.

Tip number 3: Enjoy Yourself.

With the high wordcount requirement and short time frame, it’s easy to get stuck on the challenge part and forget about the fact that writing is fun.

Don’t to that, because stress is so not good for your creativity. So yes, push yourself, but also remind yourself that no one will shoot your dog if you don’t win.

Best of luck! Are you excited to start or regretting your decision to join?

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5 thoughts on “NaNo Need-to-Knows: Tips for Week 1

  1. Good tips! Pacing yourself is very important. I’ve learned my lesson on that a few times now. That time I wrote 87,000 words in a day (slight exaggeration) was really fun and exciting, but to then be unable to write at all for the next week was absolute torture.

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