People! NaNoWriMo starts in less than two days and I've decided to join along with all the fun!! I'm so completely not ready!!! This is my very first time participating in NaNo, I've been reading up and watching videos on how to prepare, and I feel totally out of my depths. I'm not ready at all. I get the distinct feeling I might flop on completing this year since I'm so ill prepared. I'm just gonna have to wing things. There are a few tips I've learned recently that I'm hoping will help me this month, so I figured I'd share some of those tips with you.
1. Have a set plan.This tip involves everything from a daily word count to a simple outline of your story. 50,000 words in a few weeks is an extremely daunting task. I should know, that was one of the reasons I didn't join last years NaNo, far too many words in too little time (That's what I kept telling myself). But if you set a specific goal for each day, for example only 1-2k words, then the task seems a lot more manageable. It will also be easier on you if you have an outline of the story you plan on writing. With an outline you'd be less likely to lose sight of your plot and you'll have a clear focus of where your story is headed. (I unfortunately don't have a complete outline so this will be where my winging it comes into play)
2. Join the community.I've heard from more than one source that getting involved with the other Wrimos that are participating in NaNo is all part of the fun. What could be better than banding together with others writers? Helping each other with ideas and motivation, freaking out with one another, and any other nonsense that could happen during this wild experience. People have made great lifetime friends through the NaNo community.
3. Stay healthy.You have to be able to think clearly and push, push, push for your words and staying healthy will help with that. What I mean is, get as much sleep as you possibly can, drink lots of water, take a break from your computer and go outside. You don't want to feel like a prisoner to your computer, that won't help you write your story, you need to give yourself a moment to step away and then come back later. Sometimes taking a break will help get you out of a funk or it will help you regain your focus. It's good to just take a step back.
4. Have caffeine and snacks.Yes, I realize how this sounds, especially right after the last tip I wrote, however who doesn't like to be a little unhealthy once in a while? Sometimes you just want to keep writing, or you need to catch up on your word count, and you just need that little kick of caffeine or maybe that one extra piece of candy. I support you in your decision to indulge yourself. I obviously will be and it shall be glorious. As long as you don't judge me for it, I won't judge you. (;
5. Have fun.Novel writing shouldn't be overbearing or feel like a chore. You should have fun with it. Get lost in your world and in the feels you're trying to portray to your readers. Fall in love with your characters and make your story all it can be. I believe you should write because you love it. NaNo has the capability to stress people out, so try to keep it all down to a minimum if you can. Talk with your other writer friends and play games with yourself to help you move your story along. Anything. Just enjoy the adventure as much as you can.
I hope these few tips help. Mind you, I'm no NaNoWriMo expert, seeing as how this is only my first year participating. Perhaps next time I'll have better tips for you. But for now, these seem the most important. That, however, may change in time. Well just have to see. So how many of you are doing NaNo? Are you as ill-prepared as I am? Or do you have a clear direction? Leave me a comment below letting me know. I'd like to talk to you about it all. Good luck fellow Wrimos!!