How to Win NaNoWriMo Early

Copy of winning early

Originally I wrote this post for SprintShack! But with their permission, I’m bringing the article over here since it suits the occasion! Here is the original link:

6 Secrets To Winning NaNoWriMo Early

Oh hey there

 

 

 

For most people, dedicating a whole month to writing 50,000 words can sound a bit shocking, and that number alone can scare a lot of newcomers out of even trying NaNoWriMo. But for the insane percentage of people who do participate in it every year, we know that 50,000 words is not that daunting once you break it down into daily goals of 1667. I know that I personally have a few people on my buddy list who stretch for 200,000 words in the month of November, which is way too intense for me, but all the power to them. It’s all just a matter of setting your daily goals a little higher than the suggested word count.

But sometimes the word count isn’t the scary part. Sometimes, it’s the time that people have to set aside to work on NaNoWriMo on a daily basis. It’s not always possible for people to work on their project for 30 days straight, and this is where finishing your 50k early comes to be most handy.

Today we are going to be talking about how I beat the clock and win NaNoWriMo early every year. Here are some of my secrets to getting ahead and staying above the suggested daily goals:

  1. I personally write an average of 2200-3000 words a day on days that I am working, and 5000 words on days that I am not working. I tend to split up my writing sessions into 3 separate times (early morning before work, before dinner, and before bed). This helps me split up the times and helps me gather my thoughts before binge writing.
  2. I try to do at least one write-a-thon a week. Sometimes I don’t even set big goals for them, but I don’t separate the sessions. If you want to learn more about my tips for write-a-thons, check out my post about them!
  3. Sprints are my absolute best friend during writing sessions. I am generally a focused writer and don’t have a procrastination issue, but I do get easily distracted by the Internet, by my kitten and by all kinds of chores and things I could be doing instead of writing. So I set up a schedule for my sprints. I will write down what sprint times I want to do, and then I will also schedule my break times and what tasks I want to do during the break times. Whether those tasks are switching my laundry over, or sweeping the apartment, or anything that helps me feel more productive, they really help me justify sitting down to write for longer periods of time.
  4. I scout out fast writers in the forums and add them as buddies on the NaNoWriMo website. I often find myself racing a lot of them or trying to keep up with them. I am very competitive by nature, so it’s really easy for me to get motivated when I see people 4000 words ahead of me. I keep a tab of my writing buddies page open at all times.
  5. If you don’t think setting a word count goal for yourself will motivate you, try using the daily-suggested word counts on the NaNo Stats page. Usually, if I can’t get motivated to write a bunch of words, I tell myself that I am going to write ahead two days and set my goal for the one on the website accordingly. For example, if it’s Day 5, I will tell myself to write ahead to get to Day 7 on that day instead. Even if you only write ahead one day, you are still a step ahead.
  6. When you get ahead, don’t stop writing. Even when I am 10,000 words ahead of the suggested goal I make sure I am writing at least the recommended number of words per day, because as soon as you stop writing you will start losing momentum and you will start losing progress. One day will turn into 2 days and that could and has easily turned into a week of no writing. The goal is to win early to give yourself free time at the end of the month. Obviously if you have plans on a day that you would normally be writing, don’t hesitate to take a day off if you have to, but do make sure that your reason is never lack of motivation.

I really hope that all these tips have given you some ideas on amping up your writing sessions and have given you some insight into the processes of those people who have already won. The biggest thing to remember is that while NaNoWriMo is supposed to be a challenge, it’s also supposed to be a fun experience full of writing habit-building as well as a way to meet other writers locally and around the world. Don’t rush through NaNo just to “get it over with.” With all that extra time, you could set a higher goal, you could start editing and take up some of the sponsors on their winner offers, or you could just spend the rest of the month cheering on your fellow Wrimos!

If you have any tips or tricks for getting ahead and winning NaNoWriMo early, please feel free to leave those in the comments below. I would love to hear them and maybe try a few out!mazie bones

Guide to NaNoWriMo Health

Copy of NaNoHealth

Oh hey there
This post was originally meant for Preptober, but we all know how that went down! So today we will be talking about health and NaNoWriMo!

The reasons why health is so important should be nothing but obvious but if you aren’t sure it is as simple as:
No health = No you =No novel! Think of it like Legend of Zelda heart containers!

So how can you make sure to stay healthy and safe from harm during NaNoWriMo, or any other intense challenge you ask? You’ve come to the right place.

10 Tips For Being a Healthy Wrimo:

1. Don’t sacrifice your sanity for your novel : self explanatory, just make sure to take time for you and don’t stress out about word counts too much!
2. Water water water water: When you aren’t getting enough fluids, it affects activity in your brain and prevents creativity! So research how much water you should be drinking in one day, and drink that….and a half.
3. Meal planning is your friend: You may not have time to hit the kitchen and prepare meals for royalty! Get some mason jars and plan your weeks meals on one day of the week when you know you’ll have more free time!
4. Healthy snacks: It is so so easy to sit down with a bag of chips and nom-out while wrimo-ing! It is not the best for you though! Get some brain food! Have some yogurt, or some grapes, easy little things! Also prepare them ahead of time so you can just roll in and roll back out to the novel!
5. Get out more: It’s a common misconception that writers are supposed to remain in their writing quarters and to stay focused and undistracted. But sometimes it is so much better to get out and write! Its the perfect weather to go sit in the park all bundled up and write! It’s even better time to hit up a Starbucks! People will see you writing and you may even make a wrimo friend! ❤
6. Schedule time to relax: if you do yoga I RECOMMEND A LOT OF YOGA IN THE MORNINGS! If not, try some meditation, or just clearing your mind completely! Make room for more ideas to come in!
7. Pep talks: NaNoWriMo does a great job of sending out pep talks and motivational messages throughout the month, but try talking to your loved ones about it! if you need a pep talk friends are always willing to help!
8. Make realistic goals: If you are working 50 hours a week, a full time student and already blogging and being an ML then the 50,000 word goal, may not be realistic for you! its worth it to try, but maybe make a back up goal! The point of NaNoWriMo is to reach a goal, and its all up to you what that goal is!
9. Sleep your 8 hours: If you are not sleeping your brain will not work = NO NOVEL… so get to bed!
10. Treat yourself: Coffee as an all the time wrimo beverage is not actually a good idea, but every once in a while if you need that kick in the pants, don’t hesitate to indulge in some fancy fall drinks! *Pumpkin Spice My Life*

I hope this gave you some insight on staying healthy this NaNoWriMo, comment below with some tips on how you stay healthy when writing for deadline!

mazie bones

Canzine Toronto 2017

Copy of CANZINE

Oh hey there

On October 21, we were at the Art Gallery of Ontario seeing the Guillermo del Toro exhibition called At Home With Monsters, and when we were walking into the gallery we could see that they were setting up some kind of event downstairs but we weren’t sure what it was. After we were done with our paid exhibit we were walking out to go for lunch when we saw it: Canzine Toronto 2017!

If you haven’t heard of it before, its a festival of zines and underground culture! I couldn’t have planned the day any better. If we had gone to see del Toro any other day we would have missed it. Personally, I’m kind of surprised I hadn’t heard of it before that day but I’m super happy that we ended up there anyway, because I am a true lover of zine culture and that festival was my literal heaven.

I got to meet a bunch of people that I follow on Instagram, both writers, and illustrators, and it was just one of the most pleasant experience being able to be in the presence of hundreds of people that equally love art, writing, and publication as much as I do. Getting to go to that festival, even just for the short time that I was there was so inspiring. I was able to talk to likeminded creators and we talked about our processes, and how to get past that initial wall of “it’s not good enough.” I got to see both super polished zines, and super old school style as well. One of the people there even explained how he printed them all out this morning on his way there, he was folding as we were talking. I honestly want to find out how to get involved in Canzine 2018 now that I’ve been there and felt the vibe. So I’m putting it on my list of goals for next year and I’m going to start working towards it after Christmas!

Zines have always been a way for me to express my views and thoughts and though they don’t seem to be very popular in my city yet, to know that there is such a huge community just down the highway from me was really comforting! I feel like I can make these zines knowing that they will be appreciated and picked up by other makers that know what kind of work has gone into them, and that really settles all of my fear behind personal publication.

IF YOU WERE A ZINE, WHAT KIND OF ZINE WOULD YOU BE?

mazie bones

Combatting the NaNoWriMo Mid-Month Rut

Copy of midmonthrut

Oh hey there

 

 

For those of you who have participated in NaNoWriMo, most of you will know about the Mid NaNo Rut.

But for those of you who haven’t witnessed it yet, here is a little bit of a dramatization:

*She sits staring into the abyss that is her Mac Book Pro, her coffee is just a little bit too bitter and her finger just can’t seem to move. Her mind is spinning in every direction except her in the direction her novel is going in, and all she can think about is crying while eating peanut butter and watching vintage horror movies. All she can do is hope that tomorrow she will hit her daily goal, but who knows what tomorrow holds.*

I refuse to admit that this was me last year (IT TOTALLY WAS)

The Mid NaNo Rut is both so easily prevented and so easily contracted, making it so much more difficult to deal with. But here are some ways to prevent it, and get rid of it!!

Preventing the RUT:

– Don’t exhaust your ideas too fast. Yes I know you’re excited but try to steadily write just your word count every day and nothing more. If you don’t give yourself a break every day, NaNoWriMo will be miserable.
– Don’t think about word counts, if you are like me, you will have that NaNo profile tab open and you will be updating that word count every 5 words. It’s not about the count until later in the month!
– If you’re a pantser you need to be super strict in that you don’t go off on too many tangents, sometimes it is so so easy to write in one direction and get lost with no way back. I mean most of the time it’s awesome, but other times you can get some overwhelmed and lose all motivation.
– Planners, don’t over plan. Simple as that. If you want to write a novel, you have to enjoy it at least a little bit!

Getting Rid of the RUT:

– word sprints!!
– twitter #Nanowrimo
– talk to people in the forums, even in your regional forums, see if anyone can talk to you about their novels so far, that’s got to be one of the most motivating things ever.
– linked to the point above, get a little bit competitive, but always friendly competitive, in the end everyone’s a winner, so don’t go sabotaging!
– take a nap! If you have a scheduled time to write for NaNo each day, and you are having trouble writing at that time because of the RUT, you need to go do something else super important during that time so that later on in the day you can go back to your novel and crank out some words!

Really hope this helps, My personal trick for the rut is doing writing prompts that could possibly tie in with my story. It will surprise you how much you can get written from a simple word prompt.

Let me know some of your experiences with the RUT, or how you get past it or prevent it! ❤

mazie bones

Being a NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison

Copy of BEING AN ML

Oh hey there

It was a rainy afternoon in August when I received the email from the lovely staff at NaNoWriMo. The email was regarding my application to be a Municipal Liaison for my region of Niagara, an application that I sent the day after NaNoWriMo 2013. I think it was more exciting to me because it had been so long since I applied that I completely forgot about the possibilities. But now that the possibility has become the reality, there are a lot of responsibilities.

This year will be my fourth NaNoWriMo in a row, as a Municipal Liasion of the Niagara region, and many people have reached out to me to ask if I like being one, how I became one and just general ML questions, so I figured that I would round up all those questions and create a post to talk about my experiences and why I keep coming back for more. 

24171676_10155670676731013_202652752_nAlso, this year with all of our NaNo Swag, I also got my 3-year pin (peep that companion cube pin also! Comment if you know what that’s from!) as a gift for running events and organizing communications within the region. This is of course not a single effort though! Christine and I both received our 3-year pins this year and this is Sarah’s second year as an ML. I honestly don’t know what I would do without our team. We are super compatible when it comes to how we organize things, we’re all Bullet Journalers so we’re all super on top of the scheduling and making sure that everything is covered. I’ve even called us a dream team on occasion, and I think that’s a big contributor to why I keep coming back each year!

Another big factor that keeps me on board is our region’s participants! We have such a supportive and unique group of writers in Niagara and meeting them and spending time with them has helped me so much. I don’t know if I would have kept up with this for so long if it weren’t for our amazing members and ML Team.

Being an ML is a pretty streamline job, especially if you have done NaNoWriMo before, (which I believe is a prerequisite to being one if I’m not mistaken). It’s basically the same as being a social participant. I know our region starts planning as early as September, just to make sure that we are on top of things, but other regions might not be as excited as we are! As an ML, you need to post in the forums, check in with members of your region, and help motivate others and let them motivate you. The only different part really is scheduling events, connecting with other local write-ins, sending NaNo Mail, and making sure that everyone behaves in the forums and at events. That all being said, it can be a kind of time-consuming event, and if I didn’t work from home, I don’t think I would be able to dedicate as much time to it as I do. Creating my own schedule definitely brings the added benefit of being able to take a bit of time off to go to all the NaNo events but that’s not always a benefit that other ML’s have! I know that our other two ML’s have full-time jobs that they keep up with along with their ML duties and NaNo writing, so it definitely is doable if you’re working as well if that’s something that you are worried about.

Someone asked me why I do it if I’m already super stressed out with other things, and on top of that, not getting paid to organize the Niagara NaNo, and to that, I can only respond with the word “Love.”  I truly do love the community and it has never been about money for me. I came into this position knowing that I wasn’t going to be paid, and that’s never been an issue for me. The acknowledgment and experiences alone make it sincerely worth my time and every time I go to an event and am surrounded by my writer friends I truly feel blessed.

It’s a volunteer position but at the end of the day it is a job that I hold as a high priority every year and even though it can prove to be a stressful month, I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I have on numerous accounts talked about moving out of this city and every time it boils down to the pros and cons, being a Niagara ML comes up and ultimately keeps me here. If you enjoy NaNoWriMo, and running events and making new friends you might enjoy being an ML. There are a lot of regions that are lacking liaisons or looking for second ones, depending on how big the area is, so check out your regional pages and see. I know that personally, NaNoWriMo reached out to let me know that our region didn’t have anyone at the time and that’s why I applied, and that next year Christine and I were picked to be ML’s, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

mazie bones

NaNoWriMo Accountability Announcement

nanoaccountability (1)

Oh hey there

 

It’s been a week and a little bit since I posted last, and I’d like to start this post off by apologizing! I have at least 10 more Preptober posts planned, but just have had the time to post them. I’ve been far too busy just prepping my novel. In any spare time I’ve had this past week and a half I’ve been plotting out my outline and trying to flesh out characters, and though I know I have a lot of work done, I still feel unprepared. I guess that’s normal.

So anyway, I’m making this post to talk about outline my NaNo Goals, Rewards, and Personal Rules to keep me accountable throughout the month.

Goals:

This NaNo, unlike all my other past years, I’ve decided to not be a NaNo Rebel. I’m actually planning on writing a first draft of a novel. I want to be able to sit down in December and tie up loose ends and edit, and publishing will be our main 2018 goal. I’ve never felt this passionate about a story before and so I’m really feeling positive about this NaNoWriMo project.

Overall Goal: I need to reach 50,000 words by November 18th
Stretch Goal: 70,000 words by November 30th

I mathed out my daily word goal and that determines that I will be able to write 92k by November 30th, but I’ll be happy with 70k.

Rewards:

This year I’m bribing myself with an order of fresh baked goods, a special embroidery needle, pokemon go coins, a value village sweater hunt, a date night and a new desk from Ikea…. I was going to get the desk anyways, so it’s not really a NaNo thing, but I might as well put off getting it until I’m done!

Personal Rules:

I’m not letting myself count work/freelance towards my word count. I’m only working on one project. If I reach my daily goal (2800 words) I will let myself count 1 blog post towards my word count (usually spanning between 300-500 words) This acts as a kind of incentive so that I can post all of my backlog ideas! I did a lot of super exciting things in October and I can’t wait to share all the pictures and everything!

Right now, I can’t see myself having much time to post until I’m finished my 50k, its currently 40 minutes until midnight and I don’t feel confident that I’ll be able to write as fast or as much as I want to, but that’s fine. I’m just working on the finishing touches of my NaNoWriMo Survival Kit, mostly meaning that I’m creating my Spotify playlist, and making sure I have enough freezer meals. I’m feeling a way that only NaNo can make me feel; the perfect mix of excited and panicked…and caffeinated.

Are you ready for NaNo?
mazie bones

 

 

Preptober // Guide to Chapter Building

Copy of preptembrchapter

Oh hey there

 

 

Today we are going to be talking a little bit more in depth about outlines, but focusing on one chapter at a time. A lot of authors and writing blogs state that writing chapter notes for each chapter; notes that include all the main plot points and conversation points in it, really can help in making sure you don’t miss a beat!

What do I include in chapter notes?

– Characters in that chapter (if there is a new character introduced, when, where, who,)
– Major plot points (if it is a mystery or horror novel, your chapter notes are basically going to look like the plot of an entire novel with a climax and relief)
– Minor plot points (when conversations start, who are they between, background information you might want to tie in, scenic, pretty stuff)
– THIS MIGHT JUST SOMETHING THAT I DO, but especially if I am writing for NaNoWriMo, I usually give myself chapter word count goals, no I won’t always hit them, but it gives me something to aim for, so I usually add those into my chapter notes!

How do I keep chapter notes?

– I keep everything to do with my novels in one notebook. Its just easier for me to bring around, and at those times when I am not at my computer (like on the bus or out to lunch) I can sit there and get my chapters ready for when I DO go sit and write!
– If you are keeping the majority of your notes on the computer, you might want to do it all in the same place. I suggest if you are using Word, to use the workbook template as it helps to remind you that it is NOT your novel and that you shouldn’t go too crazy with notes! I mean, you still have to write that actual chapter!
– I don’t suggest sticky notes for this, but maybe if you are using the chalkboard or whiteboard method, so you can jot down all your points there and take a photo with your phone so you can bring it wherever you go!

Benefits:

–It helps you stay organized and on track with your novel
– You have absolutely no excuse to sit there and stare into the blank page’s abyss, all your ideas are already written down and thought about
– I honestly think that chapter notes (along with a mix of write-a-thons and sprints) are the reason I won NaNo last year, these will keep your mind in place for the duration of your writing.

Well, I hope this helped and I hope that you find some useful tips to help you get through your NaNo project!

mazie bones

Preptober // The Benefits of Outlining a Novel

Copy of preptober5

Oh hey there

 

 

Today we will be talking about outlining a novel! This post isn’t going to be the most helpful for the pantsers out there but I hope that this sincerely helps a lot of writers, just as much as it has helped me!

A lot of very well known authors will say that they swear by their novel outlines and that some of the most intricately written novels, have outlines triple the size! So if anything, that is a great indicator of how useful a good outline can be! Here is the list of things that I do every time I sit down with a new novel idea!
How To OutlineA Novel

Benefits of Outlining a Novel:
– You can get organized before you start writing, making it way easier to stay on track with word counts and goals and the original ideas!
– Helps you stay on the path that so easily deviated when writing a novel, ESPECIALLY MYSTERY OR FANTASY!
– Gives you a layout of what should go where.

From my experience, I have only been successful when writing outlines in document format, a lot of writers will swear by the post-it method shown above, or the cue card method, but I am personally great with a document of key points that I have to hit. This being said, I am going to be trying the post-it method in the form of scrivener this year! So we’ll see how that goes!

The good thing about cue cards or post-its is that they can be laid out and viewed in mass. If you have a large wall that is unoccupied, post its and walls make amazing storyboards. Also whiteboards or chalkboards! Its all about the BIG picture! The good thing about this is that it is not only organized but it is also motivational! Just think, every time you finish a key point you get to go and tear that sticky note down. Could you imagine the anticipation of the wall during the last chapter, gah it makes my mouth water!

If you don’t have experience writing with an outline, maybe this year is the year to give it a shot! I am going to be talking more later on about what exactly to include in an outline but for now, you just need to think about characters! THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! 

So I’m going to leave you with that, and I really encourage you to pull out a fresh notepad and start brainstorming ONLY your characters. Don’t give them too much backstory yet, I just want you to talk about them, their mannerisms, their appearance, some brief family history! That’s it! That’s all!

Leave me a comment below with some cool ways that you outline your novels!

mazie bones

Preptober//Mastering the Brain Dump

Copy of preptober4

Oh hey there

 

I believe I have briefly talked about my love for brain dumps in my planner, or my use of a trigger list before in past posts about my planner system, but you still might be wondering, “What’s a brain dump?” or “What’s a trigger list?” so I decided to break it down and teach everyone what I know about this amazing tool!

The reason this is in my Preptober series is that NaNoWriMo is definitely a chaotic time for our brains, and this can really help bring that chaos out of you, and onto a sheet where it can be easily sorted out. I always find myself getting overwhelmed in November and this is really the only thing that calms me down.

So the first thing you will need is a notebook you take around with you all the time, or if you would rather, you can get one of those legal notepads and just completely chicken scratch it, and then input the important information you find into your bullet journal. For me, I use my older half used notebooks, so that I can use them up and store them after. A good example is this notebook below. It was formerly a school notebook for my last semester but I have decided to make it my brain dump book, whenever I need to write something out of my head, it goes in here. This is an extension of my brain.

bd

It’s just a simple composition book from Walmart, I got it in the summer before I went back to school.

The next thing you are going to want to do is take another piece of paper, and go through this master trigger list and write down all of the things that apply to you. The point of this is to write down only the triggers that you have to worry about, the less you have on the list, the quicker the brain dump will be, but be honest, don’t skip things just because you don’t want to make yourself think about them. Now I have been working on putting together a trigger list specifically for writers/authors, but it’s not finished yet, I’m thinking of making it a downloadable sheet, if that is something you’re interested in, please let me know!

After you write them on your piece of paper, find a way to attach them to your notebook, it can also work as bookmark! **If you plan on dedicating a part of your planner or a whole notebook to this, I recommend you create an idea index at the front, and colour code it so that nothing gets lost, because depending on how busy your brain is, this book can get super hectic (mine does at least!).**

 

bd2

 

The next step is going to be on a daily or nightly basis. Every night I sit down before bed, and I go through my trigger list. Its a list of things that I need to make myself think about, pertaining to work, freelance, school and projects. I just write out everything that comes into my brain when I think about those things and about 6 pages later I am left exhausted and calm.
I do this at night because it helps me sleep better if I have nothing in my head to worry about forgetting.

bd3

 

If there was one thing that I could recommend for you to do EVERY DAY, no matter what, it would be this. Honestly, this saves my sanity every day and I am so happy to share it with you. There is a lot of information online about brain dumps or mind sweeps but this is the best way that works for me!

Let me know if this helps you out at all and feel free to comment below with your brain dump systems!

mazie bones

 

 

Preptober// 8 Things To Do Before NaNo Starts

Copy of preptober3

Oh hey there

 

 

 

This post was originally written by me for a site called Sprint Shack that I used to write for back in college, I asked if I could use this post because it had a lot of really good points and helpful tips, and Cristina said it was totally fine! So here we go!

 

It’s that time of year again, when the leaves start to fall, the crisp air bites at your cheeks and all of the coffee shops are full of the smell of pumpkin… and crazed over-caffeinated writers preparing for the impending storm. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but for people like me, this is the month of readying yourself for the battle against a novel that seemingly never wants to be written. Ideas for stories or novels swarm my brain on a regular basis, but as soon as NaNoWriMo is in arm’s-reach, it’s like they go into hiding.

There are millions of things we suddenly remember while NaNoWriMo is in progress that we wish we would have thought about before–or, at least, that’s the case for me. So I took it upon myself last year to keep a little ongoing list of all the things that I should have done before NaNoWriMo started. Here are some things you can think about or start working on now to have a more productive November.

Find Character Inspiration and Names: 
We all know the struggle of character naming in the heat of the moment. Even if you are a “pantser” at heart, you know the time that building a character can take away from your word count. So why not do some minimal planning and figure out your characters before you have to stress about them?

Create/ Brainstorm your Cover Art:
If you are anything like me, you know the pain of going onto the NaNoWriMo forums and seeing all the beautiful cover art all ready in the signatures of all the eager and prepared Wrimos. You try to ignore them, but in the back of your mind, every sentence you write is backed up with an unbearable longing for your own cover. For me, it was my greatest downfall and distraction in the first week of last year’s festivities, and I will definitely be working on mine before November this year.

Research your Genre and Take Note of Any Applicable Conventions:
This is a great thing to do, especially if it is your first time writing within this genre. Knowing the conventions or other common features of your genre will really help you get in the groove, and it’s one less thing you will need to research when you get started.

Do the Math, Plan Your Numbers for the Month:
If you are a student or work full-time, you will need to work around your life’s schedule to win NaNoWriMo. The lovely word count tool on the website will try to tell you that you need to write roughly 1600 words a day, but for some people that’s simply not doable. So go through your schedule, find the best writing days, and try to amp up your word count on those days. This is also good if you suffer from chronic stress and need to give yourself a little break once or twice a week from novel land. If you need a few days off, just calculate that into your weekly numbers and make sure that you can make up for them on another day. The biggest part of NaNoWriMo is keeping a steady pace and making sure you take care of yourself and life outside your novel, as well.

Book Some Days Off for Catch Up or Damage Control:
This one kind of ties in with the last tip. Slipping and falling behind is pretty easy to do–life happens and you can’t expect the world to stop for NaNoWriMo (not yet at least). If you can afford to do so, I highly recommend keeping at least one day near the middle and end of the month dedicated to catching up. I personally keep a few days closer to the beginning of the month to get ahead so that I can focus on all my duties as a Municipal Liaison, and that works best for me.

Figure Out Your Goals and Rewards:
I’m a big believer in setting goals and planning rewards for when goals are achieved. If you are someone who finds themselves unmotivated often, then you should definitely set multiple short-term goals and rewards, such as for every 10,000 words written. But if you just need that one big push to get to the end, give yourself one big end goal and work towards that. Every year my reward is a winner shirt for the year and a big celebratory dinner with all the friends that had to put up with crazy-NaNoWriMo-me.

Prepare Your Inner Editor:
I want to talk more about this in a later post, but for now, I am going to explain what you can do to get ready for your novel frenzy month. Any seasoned Wrimo knows that the biggest word count killer is your inner editor. That little voice in your head that moves your fingers to that backspace button, makes you read back 8 pages, or convinces you to delete whole chapters. You need to start training yourself to fight against that little voice. I have some tips and tricks to help you beat it once and for all, but right now, you can start by practicing the ever so simple mantra “write now, edit later.” It will seriously change the way you write anything and everything. There are settings for you to turn off your word-processors editing tools if that helps you at all, but just start practicing, I promise it will make a huge difference.

Clear Your Workspace and Computer of Distractions:
Nothing is better than a well-organized workspace. All your references in order, the perfect little spot for your coffee… it all helps everything flow better when things are in place. I always make sure to clean up my computer while I’m in the cleaning mood. I hide all the distracting files or games in a folder and flood my desktop with motivational quotes and inspirational images or references. It’s really helped me out when I am looking around for something to distract myself.

How do you prepare for NaNoWriMo? Will you be trying any of these tips this October? Let us know!

mazie bones