10 Hints and Tips for NaNoWriMO by Wendy H. Jones

I cannot believe it is November again - doesn't it travel round quickly? November means autumn is well and truly here, Christmas is coming, the weather changes more frequently than a baby's nappy and, of course, National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo as it is more fondly known. NaNoWriMo, if you haven't heard of it, NaNoWriMo themselves say:

NaNoWriMo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people use their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

The words they encourage people to write in November is 50,000. I can hear horrified gasps as I type. Bear with me, there are ways to do it and still have time for yourself. No, it does not need to take over your life. By the way, your project is up to you, it can be fiction, non-fiction, a book of short stories, poetry, the important part is the words. 

1. 50,000 words breaks down to 1,677 per day. Now doesn't that seem much more manageable? If it still sounds a lot to you, there are still ways of managing it.

2. Those 1,677 words don't all have to be written at once. I will be joining a couple of zoom NaNoWriMo hours each day. These help me  move my writing forward exponentially. One of these is the Sisters in Crime NaNoWriMo session which I will be running at 8pm GMT each day. Basically people sign in. We have a 2 minute introduction and then do 25 minutes of writing. After a five minute comfort break we do another 25 minutes of writing.  Various other groups will be running these writing hours. I am hoping to run one every morning for a Facebook group I run. It is worth looking for them.

3. If you still don't think that's enough time or not the right approach for you, block off time in your diary when you feel you can write or use spare time throughout the day. A spare few minutes writing here and there soon mounts up and before you know it you will have achieved your daily word count. 

4. If you can, write more than the 1677 words per day. I can hear you groaning from here and I know how you feel. Writing more words means that you have some in the bank in case you get ill or your kids or the cat are unwell. Life happens and it's best to prepare for that. 

5. Plan your NaNo project. Planning what you will write each day will help you to move your project forward and meet your word count. Your words will flow much more quickly. I can hear the pantsters screaming from the rooftops. I'm not saying plan everything to the nth degree, I'm saying at lest give a heading to what you want to write. If you are ahead of yourself, move onto the next day. Your plan can also change as you move forward, if new ideas come to you, or something isn't working out. 

6. Buddy up with others. Writing can often be a lonely business but NaNoWriMo has a buddy system where you can send buddy requests where you can become friends with other writers and cheer each other on. This is great system - if you re ahead of the game, people celebrate with you. If you are trailing behind, they support and encourage you. To ask someone to be a buddy type in their NaNo name (mine is Wendy H. Jones if you want to buddy up), click on the name that appears, and then on the left hands side will be a box saying send buddy invitation. Just click on that. To accept buddy invitations others have sent you - Click on my NaNoWriMo, click on buddies, click on buddy requests on the right. Then you can accept them. The images below should help.

7. Make use of the badge system. There are badges which are highlighted automatically by the programme as you reach certain goals. Then, there are personal badges you award yourself. You cannot believe the power in a badge. Ticking them off is somewhat satisfying. The badges are in the images below. I've already ticked off some of the personal achievement badges. The NaNoWriMo ones are still greyed out as I am writing this in advance of November. I can't do it in November as I'll be busy writing my novel. 

8. Update your word count regularly. I can't show you an image of this as it's not available until 1st November. However, this is a great way of motivating yourself and keeping track of your progress. Seeing that graph line moving up keeps me on track and, I must admit, I find it somewhat satisfying. There may be times when you don't quite hit your goal but that's okay. Just pop in what you have done and your graph will still grow. 

9. Don't beat yourself up if you re lagging behind. However many words you write during NaNoWriMo, you will still have moved your project forward. Celebrate that. Write what you can and be proud of the fact you have done it.

10. Have fun through the whole month and write where and when you can. Enjoy the process and celebrate on the 1st December. If you have reached 50,000 words, celebrate, grab your certificate and grab those winner goodies. There are discounts on many different products which will help you with your writing business. 

I hope this has helped you. All the very best with your writing and with NaNoWriMo. Let me know in the comments if you are joining me or if you have any more tips. 


About the Author
Wendy H Jones is the Amazon #1 international best-selling author of the award winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her Young Adult Mystery, The Dagger’s Curse was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers' Choice Award. She is also The President of the Scottish Association of Writers, an international public speaker, and runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation and marketing. Wendy is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. She is the editor of a Lent Book, published by the Association of Christian Writers and also the editor of the Christmas Anthology from the same publisher. Her first children's book, Bertie the Buffalo, was released in December 2018. Motivation Matters: Revolutionise Your Writing One Creative Step at a Time, was released in May 2019. The Power of Why: Why 23 Women Took the Leap to Start Their Own Business was released on 29th June, 2020. Marketing Matters: Sell More Books was released on 31st July 2020. Bertie Goes to the Worldwide Games will be released on 5th May, 2022,  and the third book in the Fergus and Flora Mysteries will be published in 2021. Her new author membership Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy launched in January 2021. Creativity Matters: Find Your Passion for Writing the third book in her Writing Matters Series was published in September 2021. Wendy's latest release is Killer's Curse, the seventh book in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Wendy is represented by Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary Services. 

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