Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo Survival Guide

By MarcyKate Connolly

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Yes, November is almost here and that means it’s time to sharpen your pencils, break out a new batch of pens, and clean the crumbs off your keyboard for National Novel Writing Month!

Even if you’re not participating, you may recognize the signs. Do you know someone who:

  • has abnormally large dark circles under their eyes?
  • mutters about motivations?
  • whispers about plots?
  • grumbles about the voices?
  • furtively writes notes to his/herself?

Then you may know a NaNoWriMo-er. But don’t panic. Come December, it will pass, I promise.

If you are participating – good for you! 50,000 words is a long journey, but I’ve got some tips to help you make it through the month alive (and hopefully with all your interpersonal relationships intact).

1. Coffee. Or tea. Or any caffeinated beverage really. Remember that special combination from college that got you through those all-nighters before finals? Well, it’s time to bring out the big guns, baby, because you’re gonna need it!

2. Snacks. And lots of them. You need to write a minimum of 1,667 words per day. You don’t have time to run to the kitchen. You are like a bear hibernating for the winter (albeit, in your office/local cafe/whatever). Be one with the bear. Learn from the bear. Stock up now!

3. More Coffee. Snacks can make you sleepy. Sleep is for the weak. Combat that fatigue with more caffeine.

4. Do Not Get Distracted. By Facebook. Or hilarious Twitter feeds. Or dogs/children/significant others who need attention.

5. Don’t Alienate Everyone. Yes, this contradicts tip #4. But you need someone to bring you meals, don’t you? To refill your water? To cheer on your progress? To celebrate with you when you cross the finish line? Don’t worry, you only need to select one friend or family member to be nice to during the month of November. The rest can wait until December 1st.

6. (You guessed it) Coffee. You may as well attach your coffee maker to an IV drip. That way you don’t have to leave your desk.

So, how do YOU NaNo? Share your secrets for success in the comments!

MarcyKate Connolly writes young adult fiction and becomes a superhero when sufficiently caffeinated. When earthbound, she blogs at her website and ferrets out contests on Twitter.


Stina Lindenblatt said...

I still don't know how people do this when they have full time jobs.

#5 is great advice. You're right. Room service is always welcome, except by the people who provide it. That's when you should pay them with a small piece of chocolate to show them your appreciation. :D

Jemi Fraser said...

I love the nuttiness of NaNo! My family knows nothing of NaNo but they do tend to notice meals are not quite as complex as they normally are! :) Good luck!!

Jean Oram said...

You just described me and I'm not even doing NaNo this year! Oh my goodness! Love the tips and I'm off to check out those hilarious Twitter feeds.

Angie Sandro said...

These tips are hilarious. I need to laugh since I'm 8,000 words short of where I should be. Where exactly do I purchase an IV for the coffee?