I have been honest about sharing my #NaNoWriMo journey this year, and while I’ve been doing this for a while, I realize that my experiences with the challenge are helping me a lot more than I anticipated.
Since I have been NaNoWriMo’ing since November 2003, I have won some and I have lost some (if we are keeping track, I am at 8 wins and 4 losses–without this year), but more than that, I have learned how I work best.
For example, I have done the whole planning and super organizational thing. But, I’ve also just done a general idea and fly by the seat of my pants (called ‘pantsing’ in the NaNo community). Both have lead to wins and losses. Thus, my list below that is sure to help veterans and newbies alike.

7 Tips for NaNoWriMo Success

  1. Start Strong — If you establish a bank of extra writing in the early days when you are motivated because it is new, you’ll be able to spend time later on family matters, plotting or just binge watching that series you just found on Hulu.
  2. Establish a Support System — Support can come from online or in person help, I prefer a mix of both. We got to go to our region’s kickoff, but I find myself writing more on the NaNoWriMo Facebook group because it fits better into my schedule. Plus, I post my writing updates online, so that gives a little accountability.
  3. Read Author Pep Talks — There is nothing better than getting a personal-type email from an author whom your admire. From Diana Gabaldon to Neil Gaiman, these nuggets of information are delivered to participant’s email addresses. And, seriously, they help.
  4. Remember ANYTHING Can Happen — This is your novel. And there are no rules, unless you make the rules. But, keep in mind, sometimes your characters may have minds of their own and do what they want (which means a weird internal conflict of some type, but we can go into that later)–let them, so long as it means you get more words out of it.
  5. Back Up, Often and in Multiple Places — Self Explanatory.
  6. Don’t Edit until You are a Validated Winner — This is the hardest for me, particularly. I want to edit now, while the story is fresh. But, this year, since I haven’t been editing early, I have actually been closer to finishing earlier than I have in many years.
  7. Have Fun — No matter what happens, remember that while many people say they want to write a book, few people do. And even less of those people publish them. You are doing something amazing, and while I encourage you to try your best AND challenge yourself, if you have fun, there is no need to beat yourself up if you don’t finish. If you don’t finish, you have more words on a project than you started out with, and you’ve learned a few things about yourself and the way you work, too

I write this having written 35k by November 12th, I’ve taken a few sub 500 count days to celebrate my anniversary and enjoy time with my husband. I have a lot more that I want to accomplish, and am hopeful that my novel will be completed by November 20th.

Have you ever done NaNoWriMo? Why or Why Not? Do you have any words of wisdom to spread to any new writers? Please share in the comments below.

Author: gothamgal

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21 thoughts on “7 Tips for #NaNoWriMo Success

  1. I’m always so impressed with everyone who tries this! It seems like so much work, but I’m sure like anything, it’s amazingly fulfilling in the end.

    Posted on November 13, 2015 at 8:21 pm
  2. Great tips!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Posted on November 13, 2015 at 8:44 pm
  3. I haven’t done NaNoWriMo before but I really want to. Maybe next year. It just seems so intimidating committing to writing solid daily for one month. I need to get into this routine though!

    Posted on November 13, 2015 at 11:56 pm
  4. Great tips! I especially like the banking of words when you first start! I try to do that each year.

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 12:04 am
  5. I have never completed or even tried to complete nanowritmo. I know my capabilities and I know this is something I would tire of quickly and it would bore me. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants most of the time and am more creative that way.

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 12:17 am
  6. It’s great that it helped you to learn how you work best! Good luck with your latest novel. I hope you can publish it!

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 2:11 am
  7. I thought about giving this a shot, but we are now having to move, so I think it will have to wait until next year. These are fantastic tips!

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 2:20 am
  8. I have never participated in this, but I can only imagine the burnout and stress that could happen.:)

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 5:02 am
  9. These are great tips, backing up is very important, in different places is the key!

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 11:53 am
  10. I haven’t given this a thought because writing a novel is not for me. Good luck on your novel.

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 5:30 pm
  11. I have participated in NaNoWriMo in the past and am not this round. I have had to reprioritize where I am spending my time and it isn’t one of my priorities. I always had fun when participating. These are great tips!

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 9:55 pm
  12. I love to write. I dislike the grammatical part. I’m far from perfect and I wish that people would just enjoy the effort. Great ideas, thanks.

    Posted on November 14, 2015 at 10:14 pm
  13. I have never heard of NaNoWriMo until now, very interesting. Best of luck with your novel I am sure it will be great.

    Posted on November 15, 2015 at 2:11 am
  14. Very impressive! And a great tip for storing up posts. I am sure that comes in very handy. Kudos to you for taking this on.

    Posted on November 15, 2015 at 2:49 am
  15. I’m a suckered for tips lol. And I loving these I can apply the to a few areas .;)

    Posted on November 15, 2015 at 6:39 am
  16. I love the idea of banking words I must try that out next time I am writing a post!

    Posted on November 15, 2015 at 11:14 am
  17. great tips – especially banking content early on is such a good one no matter what- we as bloggers can always be doing that as well.

    Posted on November 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm
  18. I’ve done NaNoWriMo 4 times, and have completed it 3 times. I’m not doing it this year as my schedule just isn’t conducive to adding one more thing, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it when I’ve done it. This is an excellent list of tips!

    Posted on November 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm
  19. I always say I am going to do this! And then craziness comes up!

    Posted on November 16, 2015 at 4:19 am
  20. These are some great tips!!! Always back anything and everything up! I’ve learned the hard way how important backing up is.

    Posted on November 16, 2015 at 8:14 pm
  21. I have always been an avid planner love but have never heard of this! Definitely will be looking into it šŸ™‚

    Posted on November 18, 2015 at 10:53 pm