Judging by my Blogging Tips From A Newbie To A Newbie, you guys might have figured out that I like giving advice about things I know zilch about. Today's post is no exception. So, I've been hearing a lot of talk about fellow bloggers starting NaNoWriMo next month, and I couldn't be more excited for you guys, so I decided to make a post about it..
Even though I'm not participating.
For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, where writers from all over the world gather to participate in a 30-day writing challenge in order to finish their book (or 50K words). It's pretty awesome, and having people around you with the same goal will certainly motivate you, but we all know procrastination might be your enemy.
Well, I'm here to help. I don't have that much (if any) knowledge about writing, but I sure as hell know about procrastination. Here are some of the thoughts that might stop you from finishing your masterpiece of a novel:
1. Your mind is tired today. Wait until next morning when it's fresh.
That's absolute bullshit. Some of the best posts and pages I've written were done when my brain was tired. Even though it's not 100% proven correct, here's an article that suggests a tired brain is more creative.
2. You just don't feel inspired, and if you write now, it will probably suck.
Wrong. Again, there's no way to tell if you are inspired unless you really start writing. And yes, sometimes while writing, you'll realize this is not your best, but you can always come back and fix things later. The important thing is having something to fix in the first place. Go write, son.
3. You just had a better idea of a book. Time to switch over!
Holaholaholahold UP! Think things through. Do you really want to start from scratch? I mean, don't get me wrong, I've rewritten and reversed my book several times, and it turned out for the best, but there is always a chance that this is the defeated part of your mind speaking. If the reason you're contemplating abandoning a book is because you've reached a dead end, I'd suggest maybe writing something else related to your original story. A scene from another POV. A background story. A character sketch. A scene somewhere farther in the story. Or a dialogue between two characters who are never meant to meet each other.
If it all doesn't work, and you're convinced that this idea you have is better, go for it.
4. What's the point of writing anyway? It'll never get published.
50 Shades of Grey is a New York Times bestseller. Anything can happen.
Also, try sending pieces of your finished MS to friends and family. One you get the feedback, you'll realize this is not just about getting published. Just the idea of someone getting into that piece of your mind, and reading the book is enough.
Have faith in your book.
5. I have no dancing penguins to entertain me.
Get dancing penguins to entertain you.
And for some tips to help you finish your novel within a month:
1. Use distractions to your advantage.
And trust me, there will be distractions. Like a movie you want to see or a book or whatever else it is. Solution: set a word goal you have to finish before returning back to such distractions.
2. Disable the internet.
Dear struggling author: Internet is not your friend. Get rid of the vermin.
There are extensions for Chrome such as Stay Focused that can block certain sites for a certain amount of time.
3. Get Scrivener.
Aliaa @Madmoseille Le Sphinx first recommended this writing software for me, and good God, it's helpful! It's made for novelists. It will understand your needs.
The best feature about it is the word target, in which you set a certain number of words you need to finish every session. If you're doing NaNoWriMo, and intend to finish the preset goal of 50K, that leaves you with 1,600 per day. It's a piece of cake, once you get used to it.
4. Reward Your Self.
Every time you finish 10K, buy a book. Or food. Food is good.
5. Be Awesome.
You probably already know how to do that.