Nanowrimo Dos and Don’ts…..

nanoAre you in?

Yes or no, here are my dos and don’ts for writing FAST.

**Discipline is important, but don’t forget to be realistic! (Also: forgive yourself when you mess up.)

Make goals you can keep. Look forward to your writing time. Write what amuses or interests you. Don’t set goals you know you can’t achieve.

**Strive for words on paper

The point of Nanowrimo is to get a “discovery draft” on the page. That is all. Are you a perfectionist? If so, put that internal editor AWAY.

**Sometimes, a little planning can save a lot of time.

Do you work faster with a chapter to chapter synopsis? Or do you like plunging? Either way, it’s okay.

My advice? Writing is like driving a car at night. If you can see to the end of the block, excellent.

**I also like to end my writing day in the middle of a chapter. Or I leave myself notes. That way, I can dive back in the next day.

**Don’t be afraid to talk about your book.

The feedback I get from friends helps me organize and understand where I am going. Their questions make me think. My friends help me figure out what happens next!

**It’s called a discovery draft for a reason.

Your job with this draft is to get to know the characters so that later you can write the “real” book! Truth is I usually delete this draft. (But you don’t have to.)

**That MEANS YOU DON’T NEED TO WORK SO HARD THIS MONTH. And you definitely don’t have to take yourself seriously. Remember: that perfectionist side of you gets to take a nap during Nanowrimo!

So…have fun! Explore. Don’t worry about “good writing.” Don’t edit as you go. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense.

**THAT will come later.

The purpose of Nanowrimo is to come out with some writing to play with. When this month is over, your goal is to have written a draft of a story. Drafts are malleable and inspiring and they usually need to be re-imagined pretty radically. If it’s terrible, no worries. Great was never the goal. What Nanowrimo isn’t about is what 99% of writing a novel is: revision.


**Celebrate every milestone.

I build in all kinds of rewards into my process. For example, when I hit page 100, I make a special meal. When I write THE END, I get a new notebook!

**And definitely EMBRACE THE COMMUNITY! The pep talks are great! Usually, writing is more solitary. In the month of November, it’s a group experience!

Good luck and happy writing! My Nano handle is saraha!


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