It’s that time of year again and writers all over the world are gearing up for another crack, or their first crack, at NaNoWriMo. For those that don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every nation in the world is invited to this online event in November and it’s free. The aim of the game is to teach all writers, whether new or old, to get into the habit of sitting down each day and writing. This is because one of the biggest hurdles a writer has to face is the one of distraction. The aim is to get 50,000 words done in a month.
Now, the first time I did NaNo, I was all full of confidence and positive with my skills. Did I win? No. The second time I did NaNo, it was the same. This is my third time, and you know as they say, it’s gonna be lucky.
But considering I lost the first two years, I thought it’s a bit silly of me to write a post on how to win. Because I didn’t.
So, I’m writing about the sure fire ways to FAIL.
- Don’t plan. Seriously, if you want to fail, then just wing it. I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, but I find that if I plan just a little bit – give myself a bullet point outline – then I’m less likely to get writers block.
- Get to your daily word count goal and stop. What I mean here is that if you’ve got enough steam to keep going after you hit your goal, then please do! I made the mistake many times of stopping at that goal when, really, I could’ve squeezed another 500 words out. This is important because if you have a busy life, kids, lots of commitments, then there’s going to be a few times where you simply can not write and those extra few words will help.
- Write in Secret. I thought that I could sneak in a few words here or there and not need to tell my family. But nope. Just nope. Springing this goal onto my family was not effective. You need to give them fair warning and to ask for support.
- Give Up. Giving into that nagging voice that says you’re just not good enough isn’t really going to help you. You don’t get to the top of the mountain by falling there.
- Give in to peer pressure. As far as I’m concerned, the world is divided into writers vs non-writers. If you’re surrounded by other writers, then great! They’ll understand the hold writing takes over you and the sheer amount of time and energy you need to dedicate to in order for yourself to succeed. Non-writers just want you to leave your hovel and come join the party because you’re not being social. There comes a point where you have to defend your writing dream, otherwise you won’t succeed. Don’t give in.
What about you? How have you astronomically failed at NaNo?