Less than two weeks to go until NaNoWriMo fever sets in, and this is my penultimate post on how you can prepare for the challenge of 50,000 words in 30 days. This week I’m focusing on developing some survival strategies for the tough times – weeks two and three are renown for posing a threat to both motivation and productivity. So, try out these tips to provide you with some back up during November.
Identify potential pinch points
What are the pinch points during November that might throw you off course? Family events, Thanksgiving, work commitments? Think creatively about how you might react if one of these cuts into your writing time and you end up behind your target. Don’t wait for it to happen and panic about it in November, consider coping strategies now that will help you if disaster occurs.
You might want to build up a decent lead in the first flush of November, when you’re enthusiastic and fresh. You could put aside a section of the novel that you have all mapped out, so that when it comes to one of those difficult days when you need to make up a chunk of the word count you can be sure of an extra 2,000 words or so. Alternatively, book November 29th off work to be a buffer in case you need that final push.
Write yourself an I.C.E Letter
I.C.E stands for In Case of Emergency. You should write yourself a personalise ‘pep-talk’. While NaNoWriMo is great for supporting writers with weekly encouragement, no one knows your own weaknesses better than you do. Consider the reasons why you might abandon the attempt to write during November and cater your letter to this. It should be opened and re-read at the low points of November. And trust me, there will be some low moments.
Create a Manifesto
Bullet point why you want to achieve NaNoWriMo this year and how it will make you feel if you accomplish it. Stick this up next to your writing space as additional motivation for those days when it all seems a bit too much. If you’re working toward a big reward at the end of the month (if I finish all 50,000 words I’ll buy that coat I’ve been coveting) don’t forget to include this to remind you of the physical benefits of making that win.
Any other survival strategies out there that could help fellow NaNo-ers get through difficult times throughout November?
Let us know in comments.