Oct 31, 2012

8 Things to Give Up for NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month.

50,000 words in one month. Sounds crazy. Ready to give up? Great! Me too. I'll give up lots, just so long as I don't have to give up writing my novel. It's all about the words and we know getting words on  the page can often be all about finding the time to write. What are you prepared to sacrifice?

Here's a list of the things you could give up for November to win NaNoWriMo:
  1. Plot - 'But I'm not a pantser!' I hear you shout. That's okay. Maybe you spent all of October planning every scene for your novel. Fine, try that. But if you don't have your story plotted out already - now is not the time to do it. Just go with it. And if you do? Add some random things on the days you feel stuck. Sometimes knowing what you have to write can slow you down. Have your character pop into a cafe for a bowl of jelly and find a fly in it. The thing is you'll get your word count, it's great writing practice and you can always delete it in the edits.
  2. Perfection - Repeat after me - 'This will be a crap draft, but at least I'll have a draft.'
  3. Cleanliness - Now I'm not suggesting you stop showering, that's a great place for inspiration. But forget the vacuuming, washing clothes, mowing lawns etc. Kids can wash their own clothes and wear their uniforms crinkled. The family will figure out how to make baked beans on toast, and maybe they wouldn't mind whipping up something for you while they're at it. It is a universal rule that NOBODY EVER visits an author's home in November. Make sure you don't visit a writer friends house and comment on the cobwebs either. That's like killing puppies, you don't want to kill puppies... do you?
  4. Television - Ooh this is going to be a hard one for some people (me). I can't remember the last time I turned on tv to see what was on, but we watch a lot of DVDs and download tv series from iTunes (I love Castle, The Walking Dead, Justified & Bones). But for November I've pledged to watch NOTHING. My family are sadly not supporting this challenge, so I'll be spending a lot of time alone in my room typing.
  5. Company - Those people called family and friends will only weigh you down dude! Ditch 'em now. You may however, hang with other writers and encourage each other with word races and accountability for word counts. If you can't trust yourself not to wander off for coffee with mates, hide all your shoes for the month.
  6. Stress - Nothing slows action more than worrying about it.
  7. Blogs - Don't panic, I'm not suggesting you HAVE to close down for the entire month (although many bloggers are), but you shouldn't let yourself on until you've met your word count for the day (at least). I'm not planning to do much blogging over November and I doubt I'll be visiting blogs, unless I get ahead of schedule. There's a zillion blogs to visit, no one will mind if a few of them slow down. Plus, I don't like to blog unless I'm reciprocating by visiting blogs, otherwise I think it's a bit selfish and rude. And I don't want to be rude. I want you to like me :)
  8. Internet time - Schedule a reduced time, maybe thirty minutes a day, to check emails, Facebook, Twitter etc, or again, let yourself online AFTER you reach your daily word count.
That's my list. I'll be giving up all these things for November. How about you? Another one for the guys is shaving, let your stubble go wild this month!


  1. Excellent tips. And don't forget to do a few stretches. Hunched over that computer can lead to aches and pains.

    Moody Writing

  2. Giving up perfection is the crucial one I found. At the end of November last year my novel really was crap, but it had a much more interesting plot because I'd had to forget making it good and just think up plot developments as they went, instead of crow-barring in my pre-fab plot! A year later, I have a proper novel.

  3. Oh... I <3 5. All of them really. So great; so funny.

    Good luck, Charmaine.

  4. Hi, Charmaine! Great tips! Don't know if I can go a whole month without the Walking Dead, but I'll DVR it so I can watch it after getting in my daily word count. : )

    I'm Susanne_D if you want to friend me.

  5. I gave up cleanliness a long time ago ;)
    Alas, I won't be able to take part in NaNo this year. Waaay too buy.

  6. Ah, I'm glad I'm a friend who will not weigh you down. We're in this together. What will next week bring? 10,000+ wordles? Or more...

  7. Great tips. I gave up TV years ago to make room for writing and blogging. If I ever do NaNo, I'll keep these in mind.

  8. Fantastic advice! And I'm with you - showers are great for inspiration. I almost always come out of one with some good ideas for my book.

  9. Hehe. Yep. I've given up most of those. But not The Walking Dead. I'd rather fail nano then miss that!

  10. Actually, I'm not doing NaNo this year, but if you break it down it's less than 2,000 words a day. I'm a full-time writer and I can knock out 2,000 words in an hour. Good luck with NaNo!

    Precious Monsters

  11. "now I'm not suggesting you stop showering"... LOL. That was really funny...
    But these are great tips!
    Happy NaNo-ing!

  12. Hey, Charmaine! Take a minute and come pick up a blog award. It's a Work-In-Progress one. :)

    p.s. I'm reading MY ZOMBIE DOG to my "Mum", and she's loving it as much as I do.

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

  13. Hi Charmaine, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm using Nanowrimo as a way to get a burst of writing done for my new novel. As they are usually great bricks of 150000 words, I'll still have a heck of a long way to go, but I appreciated your tips! Keeping off twitter and facebook is a definite for me!

  14. Great tips. Some century I may try NaNo, but for now, just happy to cheer you NaNo-ers onward.

    Write, write, write! :-)