Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Thought - How to SURVIVE Nano!

What you need to do to SURVIVE Nano!

Good morning readers! Wow, I’ts been a while since I had a Thursday Thought but here it is, the tips I think you need to survive NaNoWriMo.

First off, some of you may ask, what is that? Well, the head, Shar will tell you a little at BL’s today. Hop on over there once you get done reading me. *grins*

In short, it’s writing a 50K novel in 30 days. Whoa, that’s a lot of words right? However, when you break it down, it’s only 1667 words per day. That’s it? Yep. Some can do that in their sleep. For others it’s a struggle especially when they have families, jobs, and other responsibilities that take them away from Nanoing. Luckily, I’m just the muse and I won’t have to worry about that, but since Shar is conveying mine and then BL’s thoughts on paper, she might need to follow these guidelines:

1.    Explain to the family you’re doing something big!

Well, in the scheme of things for you it is. With significant others who are already used to the way their authors act when finishing any kind of story during the year, they know a lot of things might not get done. Oh like, cleaning up the house per say. Dinner might be a little late getting to the table and if it does, it might be takeout as opposed to a home cooked meal. Still, try and explain it to the family how you might be unavailable at some points. Try not to ignore them! Get them involved somehow. Shar talks the story over with her husband and asks him questions. Now this is not so easy with kids, especially when they’re babies or toddlers, which brings me to the next one.

2.    Try to write when the house is QUIET!

For Shar, she’ll do it after two or three a.m. when the family is asleep. If you get your word count of 1667 for the day then you have the rest of it to enjoy with the kids. You won’t be disturbed by them asking for food or to play because you’ve done the necessary words to stay on course.

3.    Don’t worry about huge editing mistakes and write EVERYDAY!

Some don’t correct ANYTHING and keep writing. For me and Shar however, each time we sit down to a story, we go over the last parts of what was written during the last session. Just basic mistakes like misspells, grammar or punction mistakes. Still, leave the overall editing where you might repeat yourself or miss a full description for when you go through the story later on. I hope if you’re planning on publishing that you’ll use several betas and or editors beforehand. Also, take the time to write everyday. Do sprints on Twitter with friends. Get together in person or virtually with other Nano writers. Take advantage of the forums on their site as well as forming your own group of friends to keep the focus!

4.    Take time to relax BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER NANO.

I know in 2010 when Shar and I did African Sun, she was writing all year and even did a different challenge in December which proved detrimental in 2011. The first three months of that year, she had no real focus or determination to write. In 2011, she had several projects going on around November and we weren’t able to finish writing Closely Guarded. Now this year, Shar managed to get BL’s book done. As it stands, there are still only a couple of stories left unfinished because this year Shar had a different plan where she didn’t start any new stories.

She finished out the books for Rawiya and BL in the SNOTM series, the sequel to My Lieutenant, as well as Closely Guarded and Wild Horses. Now, Shar is relaxing her mind, only doing edits, blogposts, promoing, and no serious writing. Only fanfic and free reads for now. *grins* Additionally, during Nano the plan is to write early and leave the rest of the day to spend time with the kids and hubby as well as friends to take her mind off the story waiting on the laptop. Afterwards, Shar plans to take December only to write some fanfic and do revisions of Vertigo Two for me and finish Trois in Treble for Rawiya. Might also do a read with Rawiya for Xmas but she doesn’t want to burn out like she did in 2011. The key is to do other things and not get so worn out at the end of November.

5.    DON’T worry about making the 50k goal!

But wait Michael, you said I must write everyday! Still, stressing over it doesn’t help. Worrying about the goal only puts more pressure on yourself. I believe Shar did that last year. She kept telling herself she had to make it! Yes the write-ins are good and looking at the wordcounter, seeing that your close is fun but try not to immerse yourself in stress. You might just discourage us as muses and therefore make the characters in your story stop talking. Again, I say take time away from it. Don’t worry about others who may finish in fifteen days. Everyone works differently and at their own pace. If you didn’t do the 1667 today, try making it up on the weekends if time allows. The key is to not beat yourself up when you don’t get there. If the will and the story is there, you will do what is needed to make the goal.

6.    Lastly, make sure you have fun!   

Sure it’s a big deal to make the 50k! You get the little things to put on your blogs and you say, I survived and made it but the key is to enjoy the creation process. Sure it’s stressful but I think sprinting with others makes it even more enjoyable. Talking over your stories with fellow authors. Supporting one another and cheering each other on is fun too. To know that a large portion of the world is doing the same thing is very comforting. You’re not alone!

Take advantage of the tools and resources Nano gives you. Enjoy your time doing the challenge and in the end, you might have a finished product you can be proud of. In some instances, you could give it to a publisher to share with readers everywhere.Perhaps a bestseller? One can only hope.

I’m happy to be doing this again with Shar and I hope these 6 tips will help you succeed in your goal! I thank you for listening and enjoy he craziness that is Nano. If you’re not doing it, cheer those of us that are onto the finish line. 

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