For those of you who didn’t read my last blog post or are new to my blog, check out my last blog post HERE, where I talk about everything to do with NaNoWriMo, from competing last year to the more simpler things, like what NaNoWriMo actually is.
For those of you who know what NaNoWriMo is, and/or read my previous blog post, hello!
Despite the amount of disbelief that I had in achieving 50,000 words in the entire month in November due to college commitments and social engagements I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) cancel, I managed to reach the 50,000-word goal ridiculously quickly. I’m even more surprised by this because, as I did last year, I fell into the second week slump that every NaNo-er, I’m sure, can relate to, where putting words onto the screen in front of me was painful.
However, this blog post is meant to be a positive one about an achievement I’m ridiculously proud of, so I won’t dwell on those few days I struggled with. Instead, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I used in order to help me reach the 50,000 words within such a short period of time.
Whether it’s daily vlogs or weekly ones, it isn’t hard to find someone vlogging their NaNoWriMo experience. I find these great resources when I need inspiration, or am in a situation where I can’t write but still want the encouragement that I’m not the only one ripping my hair out at my novel.
Twitter is one of the most supportive communities I’ve found when it comes to NaNoWriMo. Since this challenge started, I’ve met a number of people who have spurred me on when I’ve needed it, and who I’ve returned the favour for, too. An example of just how great the community is was demonstrated when I did a 14,000 word day on Day 4. The amount of encouragement I got from fellow writers was amazing, and I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have got as far as I did without their support.
If you want to follow me, you can do so HERE.
Seriously, this Twitter account saved my life so many times. Sometimes I thought I wouldn’t achieve my daily word count, but popping over to this account and joining in with a few sprints would help bump me up or get me started enough to continue on to write my full daily amount—and, often times, exceed it.
If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen the tweet about me forgetting to include a chapter of my novel because I had stopped looking at my chapter outline because it had changed so much, but honestly, I really relied on the chapter outlines, especially for the first half of the novel I’m writing. While now I feel confident enough in my characters to let them lead the story, to some extent, having that structure to begin with definitely helped. I went into NaNo feeling so much more prepared than I had done in the previous year, and I feel like I’m writing something of a much higher quality.
Pinterest has grown in popularity for writers as the years have gone on—and it’s not hard to see why. By creating story boards or boards for each character, you are able to grab inspiration for many different parts of your novel—from face claims, to the animals your character owns. I even managed to strengthen my storyline with the help of Pinterest, including details I might not have thought about.
But Pinterest does have another use, bar being a place to procrastinate: it’s also a great resource for finding fact sheets about things you need to find information on. On my story board, which you can find by clicking HERE, I have a few fact sheets about things my characters struggle with so that I’m not going into my NaNo draft with no information whatsoever. Although I may need to do more research in later drafts, this is definitely stopping me from falling into a pit of heavy research in some of my story aspects.
Word Wars, Prompts and Sprints Forum
I scroll through this forum at least once a day. It’s a great way of getting started with your writing for the day, and something I’ve used many times, when I haven’t wanted to write something and starting has felt actually painful. However, there have been a few that have helped me a lot, which I’m going to link below. I definitely recommend you check these out.
I actually found this just before NaNoWriMo began, and I swore it would become an invaluable thing that I’d use all the time during NaNo. Honestly, though, I didn’t get around using it until I had two hours to write 3,000 words in order to reach 50,000 words before midnight. With this app, which rewards you with a kitten, puppy or bunny ever 100 words, I managed it in just one hour! It’s definitely great for motivation when you need to take away all distractions, and writing for rewards definitely spurred me on to write faster than I usually would.
So, there’s some of the things I used in order to reach the 50,000 word NaNoWriMo goal in such a short space of time. Do you have any other tips that you think would be useful to help others through NaNoWriMo? If so, feel free to comment them below!
For those of you who, like me, have managed to reach the 50,000 word goal: congratulations! For those of you who are on-target for the 50,000 word goal: keep going. For those of you who are behind: don’t give up, you will get there. And if you don’t? You’ll still have written more words than you did when November first began.
Until next time,