In my last post, I talked about the upcoming NaNoWriMo November writing challenge, where you are tasked with writing 50,000 words in 30 days. While that may seem a bit overwhelming to some, let’s talk about ways to make the experience better and your success possible.
By the Numbers
If we do some quick math, 50,000 words in 30 days equate to around 1,667 words per day.
It’s always good to have some writing-based goal written down that you plan to accomplish each time you sit down to write. Some days you’ll burn through those 1,667 words in no time, and other times it will feel like your brain is struggling to come up with the next word to type. The key is attempting to reach this magic number each day.
You can keep track using a spreadsheet, copying and pasting each day’s work on your NaNoWriMo novel page or on a piece of paper. However you do it, seeing your progress is fun and encouraging. After some time, you won’t want to break the productivity chain.
With this writing challenge, knowing your story and where it’s going from start to finish is a good idea. Take the guesswork out of what you’re writing daily, and know before you go.
Whether you create a simple outline or a detailed one, have a plan in place and a general idea of where you want the story and main character to go throughout the story. You can always rewrite and change things later, but getting the story down and the word-count goal met is the primary focus.
Live in Reality
As humans, we have stuff to do. Work, family, shopping, sleep, etc. Plus, November has Thanksgiving and Black Friday toward the end of the month.
Life happens, and you will get busy and possibly not have time to hit the minimum word count for a day or two. Don’t worry about it. You can make it up another day. Remember that you have 30 days to reach 50,000 words, so give yourself some slack in the event things arise that prevent you from writing for a few days during the month.
Just remember to get back to it and keep writing.
The key to making this challenge a positive and fun experience is to enjoy the process. Be motivated to hop on the computer and write each day. It shouldn’t be a slog, feel like a punishment, or make you dread sitting down at the computer.
Don’t think of it as work. Think of this as a creative escape where the destination is 50,000 words of a story you enjoyed writing and bringing to life.
If you burn through 50,000 words early, keep going. Write, write, write.
What if I Don’t Make it?
Writing 50,000 words is a marathon. And like marathon runners, sometimes things can get in the way that prevents us from hitting our goal in the time we planned to complete it.
Again, life happens.
No matter how much you get done by November 30, I encourage you to keep writing. Even if you hit 50,000 words a week or two into December, you still have reached the goal.
Then, next year, try again. See what you can do to reach the goal sooner.
You can do it! Hit that 50,000-word goal no matter what!
All the suggestions above can be used for any writing project and help you map your pathway to success. While any big writing project can initially feel daunting, breaking it down into manageable chunks can keep your creative momentum going and ensure you cross the finish line.
Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!