National Novel Writing Month

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You may have noticed a flurry of posts online from folks who are writing and sprinting and complaining about or celebrating word counts. It’s that time of year again – National Novel Writing Month. It’s fun! Join us!

Please add me to your “buddy list” if you are playing along. You can find me here.

I have done this a number of times, and last year was the first time I actually got to 50,000 words for the month. So I’d like to pass along the key things that helped me get past the hurdle.

Comments are your friends: Along the lines of “just write, don’t edit”. If you have a scene that you want to come back to, or a half-formed idea that you want to ponder or research, put it in as a comment on your document. Almost every writing tool has this functionality. The comment “Fix this!” shows up in my story more times than I can count. This way you don’t have to exit your document or distract yourself, just pop in a comment and move on.

Allow yourself thinking time: Don’t constantly be distracted by reading, social media, and all the other things that we fill our time with. You need some time to think through things. Whether it be on your drive home, in the shower, or while you are raking the leaves. Allow your characters to speak to you.

Word Sprints: These can be extremely useful to reaching your word count goals. But don’t let them rule your life. I love sprints, but don’t let them discourage or frustrate you. Move on and try later.

Write Everywhere: I love the scheduled time and place for writing. Like many things, the discipline of this helps train your mind. But it doesn’t work for all of us. With my work schedule and travel, I end up doing a lot of writing in airports, airplanes and hotel rooms. For me, Google docs on my phone enables my writing habit. Even 10 minutes waiting for a prescription can be spent writing.

Lots of folks out there have done this many times – any advice you may have feel free to leave in the comments….

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