In the words of Gorillaz, one of my favorite bands ever, “November has come!”
And in even better news – NaNoWriMo 2019 is here! So now, it’s time to make every day of this month count! And here’s how we can do that:
Write Every Day – No Matter How Much
As J.K. Rowling has said, you’ve got to commit yourself to writing every day in your novel, or whatever type of story you have. As Rowling has also said, find yourself the best time each day to write and guard it with your life! Bonus points if it’s also the time when you’re at your most creative. For me, that time would be at night starting right after dinner.
And I know I’ve been really gung-ho about making the 50,000 word goal. But the truth is even if you end up being short of that goal come December 1st, whatever you’ve written is an accomplishment in itself. And that’s true whether you write 1,000 words or 40,000 words.
All that matters is you try. Try to write every day as much as you can. If you’re feeling tapped out, try to do a writing exercise to get inspired again. Even just write random stuff separately.
You don’t have to start at the beginning, either – find a scene you’re excited about writing, and start there. You can always edit and go back and fill in the gaps.
Go to NaNoWriMo or Other Writing Events If/When You Can
As I type this, I’m sitting at a NaNoWriMo Write-In in a co-working office building. So far, it’s been a fun gathering – even though I would have preferred a place like, say, Panera Bread. (There are NaNoWriMo events hosted there and other coffee shop-type places.)
But I’m still glad I went because I got to know other people and see what they’re writing. Given time, I’ll even make some friends out of this! If you make friends at these sorts of events, you could even add each other as buddies on NaNoWriMo to help each other. You can even bounce story ideas off of each other, read each other’s work, and give critiques. I have one buddy so far, and he’s somebody I first met on Twitter and have known for a while before this.
If you do sign up on the NaNoWriMo website, set your home region and look for events there. You can also make an account on Meetup and search for writing groups and events there.
Engage on NaNoWriMo’s Twitter and its Forums
Whether you can or can’t go to writing meetups in person, I highly recommend following NaNoWriMo everywhere you wish and engaging on its forums. It’s another great way to meet people, and best of all you don’t have to leave your house! I’ve done the same and NaNoWriMo will share their YouTube videos and have workshops on Twitter like this one I joined back in September.
While online interaction isn’t the most personal thing, it still offers the same benefits as in-person meetups. You can still bounce ideas off of each other, critique each other’s stories or parts of stories, help each other research for your novel, etc. There are sections of the forum for different genres of stories. There are also sections of the NaNo forums for after November, and more casual forums like The Coffeehouse.
I know I’ve made a point to interact more on the forums this month, being too busy with novel planning and other unrelated things the past two months. I’m kelbybaca on NaNoWriMo, too, if you want to add me as a buddy or connect with me on the forums!
Remember You Can Always Do More Planning and Research
I’ve been cramming on my research of 16th century Spain and colonial Mexico the last few days. This also includes looking into related things, like what sailing across the sea was like back then and what daily life was like in Spain and the colonies. I’ve really been trying to avoid Wikipedia, too, knowing its reputation as a not-so-great source. But really, the sources in the References and Further Reading sections of every article – like the one on Veracruz, Mexico – are usually good places to start.
Even through the months of September and October, I’m not 100% finished with my research or with planning some aspects of my novel’s plot. But that’s why I’m allowing myself to just write and do research when I need it. At least I have a fair amount of the novel planned at this point, and that much is good to start with. Some people go into NaNoWriMo with zero planning at all – which is a real feat!
So if you’re in the same position as I am, or even if you’re going in with no planning, feel free to do some research when you need it. Google and all the other search engines are always there.
Have Fun with the Process!
Just like any contest or sport, if you’re not having fun, then it’s not worth the effort. As they say: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” I wish you the best this month of November, and happy holidays!
Thanks for reading! Is there another way you can make the most of November during NaNoWriMo? Share in the comments below!
You can also sign up for the Kelby Writes Adventure email subscription, under “Get adventure writing tips in your inbox!” I won’t spam you, but update you with new posts and a message once in a while. Be sure to share this with as many writers as you know!
And if you’re on NaNoWriMo’s site, you can add me as a buddy! My username there is kelbybaca.
Thanks for your time!