Thursday, October 23, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Not Wanting to Loose My Reading Momentum + Overachieving + More

If you're confused, as to what is going on... NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place in November and it's where you accept the challenge to write a novel, or 50,000 words, in a month. The "overachieving" part is writing more then 50k. The last few years I've been writing more then 50k, steadily going up, and last year I wrote over 350K and I'd still like to write as much as possible, but I don't want to not read all month.

Mostly because I know if I don't read all month, I'll completely loose all the momentum I've got going, and I don't want to do that. I love being able to keep reading, this isn't a normal reading year for me by any stretch. And I've still been writing, everyday. I think I can do this if I completely cut out everything else (YouTube, TV, Tumblr, probably everything that isn't writing or reading) and I think I'm okay with that? (I'll still probably watch some YT/TV stuff for breaks - icing wrists, possibly, and eating).

It's going to exhaust me and burn me out a little, but I love NaNoWriMo. I look forward to November every year specifically because it's NaNo time. I love when the website resets (which it hadn't reset when I was started writing this and now it has), and I normally try not to be too busy in November - setting aside time to get ahead in everything else and outline for November, but I really haven't had time to do that this year.

This year October has been insanely busy, hectic, full of traveling and a reading hangover/slump of epic proportions after finishing the Heroes of Olympus series. And it's another reason why I'm not going to push myself as much this year, because I know it just wouldn't happen, wouldn't do any good to even try, because I' simply not prepared to write that many words in a month (by which I mean trying to beat my previous year), but I still want to write and overachieve and read. And not completely abandon my mom and friends. (and you guys, this blog).

Which all seems impossible, but November always seems impossible. Still, after this month, I'm looking forward to locking myself away and just - not doing too much. I'm an introvert by nature, so I was already exhausted after our first trip.

Overall, besides my personal sides of this year, I cannot recommend NaNoWriMo enough if you're a writer. If you're trying to do a first draft for something or have no idea what you want to write - just go, dive into the forums, talk to people or just lurk, and give it a try. Even if you don't hit the 50k, maybe you'll write 10k, 20k, 30k - that's more words then you'd have if you hadn't tried.

NaNoWriMo is incredibly important to me, and always will be. It's made me more sure of myself as a writer, it's made me a better writer by the practice I've gotten from it. And those crazy, insane, awesome people in the 50k Beyond section of the forums pushed me to write so much last year and I couldn't thank them enough (seriously, they're all fantastic).

I'm going to give you my own tips here, which are definitely in some of the tip videos linked below, but these are what I think are super important.

Just Write. Just do it. It's hard, some days it's awful, but write something everyday. NaNo will teach you writing is not about 'waiting for inspiration to strike,' you just have to do it. You have, if you're aiming for 50k - 1,667 words to write each day, you can't waste anytime. However - if you're super busy one day (traveling, socializing, school/work), then just try and write few hundreds words, or just a hundred so you don't loose momentum on your story.

Don't go back. Yet. I'm actually guilty of going back and reading what I've written in November, but it never ends well. Wait until December. If you need to read the last few hundred words to get back into the story, that's fine, no more and no editing. Don't edit, don't delete a single thing - forward motion.

Pregame. If you jump into November not having written for a while - you're going to be bewildered and those 1,667 words are going to feel like ALL THE WORDS EVER. You should already be trying to do this, write 500 words or 1,000, as much as you can without starting on your NaNo story (or do, be a rebel! No one's going to kick you out, everyone's very nice, and there's a forum for that).

Be prepared to sacrifice things, forcing yourself to make time for writing. Tumblr, maybe not watching as much Netflix or reading as much fan fiction - maybe an hour of sleep. But, honestly, you probably have enough time to fit in those words just cutting a few things out. Writing sprints help and so do friends, who you can be competative with. (Don't have friends doing NaNoWriMo? Go make some - the comments of Kristina's newest video, the forums, you can add me as a writing buddy if you want).

Surprisingly, after so long, I can't think of much of else - because that feels like what you need to know. There's more tips, there always is - but really I think just write is enough. NaNoWriMo is one of my favorite times of year because of the pressure to do it, some people don't work well under that kind of pressure, but apparently I thrive with ridiculous goals and short time periods. However, if you want more peptalks and tips - Chris Baty's No Plot? No Problem! is fantastic, I read it every year (and now it's, apparently, revised, updated, and expanded! I might of just ordered that copy), but I really love it and it's part of my NaNo experience.

Now - there are many inspirational things (backlog pep talks, for instance), but I still love the videos because I remember watching them and then rewatching them every year to get myself into the mood.

I first heard about NaNo, at least as far as I can remember, through Kristina Horner (YouTuber, Wizard Rocker, All Around Awesome Person - and a new BookTuber). And she makes a new video every year, sometimes more then one.
2009 - Why I Do NaNoWriMo
2010 - NaNoWriMo
2011 - You are a SUPERHERO.
2012 - NO EXCUSES (A NaNoWriMo Pep Talk)
         - The Writing Process - A Journey
2013 -  5 Ways to Get Your Novel Written
         - Writing a Book in a Month (Filmed Everyday of Nov)
2014 - I'm Calling You Out!
"The NaNoWriMo Song" -- UPDATED!

Speaking of BookTubers - Katytastic has a ton of NaNo videos on her channel, click and just type in 'NaNoWriMo' - there's way too many to link. (she's done vlogging during the month, tip videos - there's a lot).

The lovely (New York Times Bestselling) author Robyn Schnieder also has some videos which I love. NaNoWriMo YWP: How To Vanquish Your Suck Dragons (official video pep talk #1) + 5 Tips for NaNoWriMo

John Green's NANOWRIMO video from 5 years ago is still one of my favorites, just because it's so great.

hayleyghoover's - 5 Reason-o to NaNoWriMo

Other Stuff:
NaNoWriMo YouTube
Chuck Wendig's blog (author). (Some recommended posts: 25 Things You Should do before Starting your Next Novel + Welcome to NaNoWriMo Prep School, Word-Nerds)

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Do you have an idea in mind? Are you aiming for 50k or are you aiming lower or higher? 

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