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8 Tips to Prepare for NaNoWriMo

woman writerEvery year, thousands of people jump into the massive time commitment called NaNoWriMo. They vow to write 50,000 words by November 30th at midnight. Few make it, but many benefit. Here are some tips to help you if you’ve chosen to participate:

  • Each day, write until your mind throbs like a thumb hit with a hammer
  • Dinner is defined as ‘microwave’
  • Choose your words like steps in a minefield–no, don’t do that. Choose them like it’s a field of daisies–no danger there. Just get all those thoughts down on paper. Your goal is quantity–quality comes later.
  • Write until sleep hits you like a prizefighter’s punch
  • If you’ve been struggling with your writing, consider this an intervention. It’s a totally different approach with lots of epeople on the sidelines cheering you on. Go get ’em!
  • When you need a break, read in your genre. It’s quite inspirational.
  • As you write, the picture you hope to create is probably Michelangelo rather than Jackson Pollock. That’s OK. You’ll fix it later.
  • Whoever or whatever calls you, let it go to voice mail. Except the dog. That may be too important to miss.

That’s it–eight tips. Does this sound like your sort of gig? If not, that’s OK. You have to bloom where you’re planted. You’ll find sunlight somewhere else.

Still here, pondering? Check out Hannah’s pros and cons here, and Men With Pens fun article, Are you a NoNoWriMo Failure? If you’re wondering whether you should even stick your nose under that tent, here are my thoughts on that.

More on NaNoWriMo:

NaNoWriMo — Oh No

23 Reasons I’m NOT Doing NaNoWriMo

How to Kickstart Your Writing Career

Jacqui Murray is the author of dozens of books (on technology in education) as well as the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is  editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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38 thoughts on “8 Tips to Prepare for NaNoWriMo

  1. Pingback: 18 Good Reasons I’m NOT Doing NaNoWriMo « Jacqui Murray

  2. Pingback: 18 Good Reasons I’m NOT Doing NaNoWriMo | WordDreams...

  3. It’s an age-old debate: Should writers meticulously outline a story before beginning or should they simply sit down at the keyboard and start typing, blindly trusting that the characters will reveal what should happen next


    • Do you think NaNoWriMo is the latter? Twere I to do it, I’d probably do a comprehensive outline first and then write. Now that I’ve said that, it probably wouldn’t work for the spirit of the contest. My outlines are close to 70 pages. Hmm….


    • That’s my complaint–it’s too stressful. I do my best writing by jumping in when inspired and setting it aside when nothing pops to mind. I don’t think you can do that with NaNoWriMo.


  4. You always come up with something Jacqui to brighten our dull days. I’m a coward, not doing it as I struggle with my first draft. I’m envious of my friends this side of the pond who far better writers than me. Love the stairs and microwave metaphors. Arun


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