Four Things to Remember Along the Journey
It’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This means it’s your chance to get on board with thousands of other writers who are setting a goal to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Yep. I said it. 50,000 words in 30 days. I know. It sounds intimidating. However, it’s not nearly as scary as it seems. Yes, a lot goes into writing a novel in its entirety. But this month is all about setting goals and creating a community structure to prove to yourself it can be done! And it can! I promise. (I’m going to give you a bit of an inside scoop to make it all seem a little less mind-boggling.)
But first, head over to NaNoWriMo.org and get yourself signed up. It’s free, and you can explore all the features of their website once you settle in. It’s a great way to hold accountability for your work and the goals you set for yourself throughout the month. Plus, you get to network with other writers like you. If you’re signing up a few days in, so what! It’s nothing a few extra words can’t fix.
Here’s what I want you to remember along the journey:
1. All you have to do in 30 days is DRAFT the novel.
Lots of times, people hear that 30-day deadline and feel there’s not enough time to make the aspirations of writing 50,000 words come to life. But keep in mind that all you have to do is focus on the writing. No one said you had to have a novel written, edited, and ready for publishing in 30 days. That’s a bit of a leap- especially for a first-time author.
But you can set word-count goals daily to equate to that 50K-wordmark that will give you the foundation of the novel you’ve always wanted to write. Or it’ll be shit. But either way, you wrote the thing, right? So, take the pressure off and know all you should set yourself up to do is draft the words as they come to you. Just write. Fix it all up and make it pretty later!
2. 1,700 words a day is NOT unattainable.
In fact, it’s not as much as you’d think. The average person writes about 25 words per minute. This means that committing yourself to 50,000 words is committing to writing for about an hour and ten minutes a day for 30 days.
Did you know the average person spends about two hours a day on social media? Yes. Two hours. Google it. This means, if we as average people, cut our social media time in half, we’ve just found our writing time.
And let’s just say you started a week late. It still only averages out to be about an hour and twenty minutes of writing a day to make up the difference! Think about that! It shouldn’t seem so scary, after all.
3. Take an extra 10 minutes after each session to outline what you want to write for the next day.
I say this because if you spend too much time reading back our work, you will get stuck there. You’ll want to fix and change things. You’ll doubt yourself. Your will lose time on things you already did. You won’t end up finishing the damn thing.
If I’m telling you to just focus on the writing, then just focus on the writing. Giving yourself an outline for the next day sets you up to go right back into the groove with the direction of where you want to go already noted. You sit down every day with a goal in mind, and you do not have to focus on where you were the day before.
4. If you don’t complete the work, the world will not crumble.
If you manage to complete 50,000 words by the end of the month and still don’t feel like your novel is finished, that’s great- keep going. If you only completed 25K, look at you! You’re on your way- keep going. If you accomplished your goal, congratulations- but keep going, it’s edit time.
Go easy on yourself regardless of where you end up. This is supposed to be fun and enlightening for you as a writer. The only expectation you need to set is that you write consistently and with purpose. The rest will come. Believe me.
Our Galaxy is going to be giving you writing tips and tricks all month long to keep you going as you draft your novels. But don’t hesitate to reach out. We want to help you get the writing done, and we’ve got resources to get you where you want to be.
Keep us posted on your progress. Tag us in your word-count goals as you achieve them. We’re here for you!
Want more content like this? Read our blog on the Power of Storytelling, here.