- Set a daily goal of 2,000 words. An average daily word count of 1,667 will get you perfectly to 50,000 by November’s end. But by building in a small daily cushion, you have the luxury of a day off, and the added incentive of seeing that word count grow more quickly.
- Give your internal editor the month off. Stop worrying that your writing isn’t perfect. It’s not supposed to be. At best, at the end of the month, you’ll end up with a workable first draft of something. At worst you’ll know that you can write a whole lot of words. If you get a third of the way in and make a discovery that negates something you wrote earlier, just keep going. There’s no need to go back and delete now.
- Get rid of distractions. You will find a lot more time to write if you take the month off from social media, relentless e-mail checking, online (or real) window shopping, and other easy time-wasters. And you won’t really miss them.
- But realize that there are only so many hours in a day. Unless you live with someone who is ridiculously understanding and has a lot of free time to pick up your slack, some things are going to slip. I write pretty quickly, but the time still came at the daily expense of sleep, cleaning the house, or working out. Sometimes all three.
- Subheadings are your friends. They make it easy to jump around, because
- You don’t have to work chronologically. If you’re stuck where you are but know how you want the story to end, write that. Or if you want to go back and flesh out an earlier description, that’s fine, too.
- If you are way ahead on your word count, feel free to take a day off. Really.
- Feel free to write extra, too. Even if you just want to finish that scene, every little bit adds up.
- Work on your novel, even when you’re not writing. I get ideas while doing low-concentration tasks like loading the dishwasher, taking a shower, and waiting for the school bus. I jot the ideas down, and then flesh them out during writing time. That’s much easier than sitting down at the computer and then trying to figure out what to write that day.
Best wishes for fast fingers!
NaBloPoMo: This is 22/30.