It’s November, and that can only mean one thing! It’s NaNoWriMo time! You know, National Novel Writing Month—a 30 day challenge for people from all walks of life to pen 50,000 words into their own novel.
Full disclosure, I’ve never done it. I’d like to—and I should probably put it down as one of my 2015 New Year’s resolutions—but it’s still a bit intimidating. God knows I struggle to find the time to write this blog sometimes, so the notion of composing 50,000 words seems a bit unattainable.
But anyway, I’m not here to try to convince you to write a novel—especially if I’ve never done it. But I do believe there are three best practices from the NaNoWriMo challenge we can all do when creating content.
On your first draft, don’t write and edit…write and edit. Just write. No massaging and refining allowed. You’ll only halt your free writing progress when you get into grammar police mode. Be okay with not making things perfect. Imperfection can be a beautiful thing.
Whether you’re writing a 50,000-word novel or a 600-word blog post, word counts can be very intimidating. Don’t keep staring at the end of the road. Divide your writing into small, obtainable goals and focus on reaching each of those benchmarks. You’ll reach your big goal in the end and not stress out as much while working toward it.
In writing, you must stay focused. You can’t do it well by putting in two minutes here and three minutes there. You have to carve out and preserve specific blocks of time to write. You must tune out distractions, start the clock, and just start writing. When the buzzer goes off, then you can stop and walk away. And if you didn’t reach your word count goal, you can always return to it.
Oh, and if you ARE interesting in trying to write your own novel, let me know. Maybe we can take on the challenge together!