Thursday, October 18, 2012

How To Finish The NANO From A Person Who Didn't

Last year I participated in the NANO. I didn’t make the 50,000 goal, but I did write 35,000 words, which I was very proud of and I learned a lot about me and my writing habit. My friend Patricia Woodside is blogging about how to be successful in NANO. She has some great tips, check them out HERE

I thought I’d offer a few tips too.

Have a realistic goal

Don't set yourself up for failure before you can begin. Set a goal you can write daily and sit down and write.

Be prepared

Before you begin, do your homework. Write your outlines, plot your story out. This will help you as you work though the book. You can write from the seat of your pants, but it's nice to see the path you want to go. As a panser, I was glad I'd taken a plotting course before starting the NANO. I was able to see where I wanted to take the story and I found it easier for me to sit down each day and write.

Find your time to write

If you don't have a writing schedule, create one. I don't write everyday so it was a challenge for me to sit down and write every day. I found I did my best writing at certain times of the day. I took advantage of those times and I wrote.

Life can step in on your goal

During the NANO I had a family emergency that threw my mind for a loop. I honestly didn't want to write on some days, but I forced myself to keep writing. Be prepared for those days you don’t feel like writing. If you can write passed your daily goal, write because you will have some words stored up if life steps in.

Have a support team

Some days I wrote because my team was working towards their goals and I didn’t want to let them down. On those days I was in a funk, that team was there to encourage me and not let me wallow in my pity.

Write with no editing

Don’t worry about how your writing sounds, write. You will have plenty of time to go over your work to see if it makes sense later. Write and write some more.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make the final goal

I was kind of sad that I didn't reach the 50,000 goal. However I didn't beat myself up over it. I reminded myself how proud I was for writing the 35,000 words. The whole reason for doing NANO is to get you writing and completing a book. If you have 25,000 words that’s better than 200 words. Each word brings you closer to a finished book.

I think the NANO is a great way to schedule yourself to write every day. I learned I could do it if I have to. Even though I had a few personal issues, I tried to work through them. I hope this tips are helpful for you.

Writing is hard job, but it’s one I enjoy and I look forward to participating in my next NANO.

Will you be participating in the NANO this year?