10 Ways to Survive NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, kicks off this month.

This can seem overwhelming. Fifty thousand words over the course of 30 days? What on earth were you thinking?

But don’t fret. You will survive. Just follow these tips:

1. Have a topic in mind. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many writers start writing with no set direction. I know this because I’m doing it right now. My title says I have “10 ways,” but really, I have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m going to write after this first one. Do you think it should be about cats? No, that makes no sense.

2. Cats

3. Just start writing…it doesn’t matter if you have a topic in mind. I’ll wait…okay what did you come up with?

That is….good! I think you will have no trouble reaching 50,000 words.

4. Don’t get distracted by the little things. For instance I just spilled a chicken-and-goat-cheese quesadilla into the middle of my couch cushions, but did I let that stop me from watching TV? No. It is really messy though. There’s pieces of onion, burrito shell crumbs, chicken bits. I should probably clean that up. But the vacuum cleaner is all the way upstairs! Ugh, my life is over. Over!

5. Read other writers for inspiration. Then start writing words and sentences. What did you come up with?

Holy crap! I love it, but it sounds a little too much like Fifty Shades of Grey. I would suggest making the guy a vampire to avoid any accusations of plagiarism.

6. Wow we’re already at 6!

7. Look for someone or something to blame when you ultimately fail at reaching the 50,000-word goal. Some suggestions:

  • I would have finished, but my child kept saying things like “Is there any food?” and “I don’t think the bleeding is stopping.”
  • I would have finished but my spouse kept saying “Are you not going into work again?” and “Do you think maybe today is the day you’ll take a shower?”
  • I had to go upstairs and get a vacuum to vacuum up some chicken bits and it was hard and sapped my will to live.

8.  I would have finished this, but you would not believe what I have to do right now. I have to actually climb stairs and bring down a 3,000 pound vacuum that weighs a ton, and then I have to plug it in and turn it on and I just can’t…sorry, the last two tips would have really been amazing.

Dearest Reader: Speaker7 is attempting to write a post every day in November so she doesn’t have to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  I mean, really, you’d have to be crazy to do that. There is absolutely no way to survive it no matter what some writer with some tip list tells you. Never believe anyone who writes a how-to type post. 

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55 comments

  1. Speaker7,
    If I ever have a child, I will call the spawn Speaker7. You’re the real thing, but much better than the U2 song.
    Le Clown

  2. Tip 9: Come up with clever ideas like NaNoWriNO to show you’re really too good for NaNoWriMo.
    Tip 10: Admit that you didn’t come up with the idea at all and totally scammed the idea off someone cleverer.
    Tip 11: Eat dry foods only on the couch.

      1. Oh what a month this will be. Congrats, we survived day one. Can’t WAIT to read the “P” post by the end. Have a great first day of November!

  3. Of course, cats are the answer to everything in life. I have one on my lap as we speak. She channels ideas into my brain. Without her, I would be typing the word “poop” over and over and over again. And I’m with you – blog a day. None of this trying to write a damn novel. Did that already, and where did it get me? A couple thousand views on Smashwords and about $3.25.

  4. Indeed…. I dropped the idea too :/ but I will blame you for not finishing the list which *maybe* would make me write it!

  5. I think you should keep going with Hot Pocket Love. Sounds like a best-seller to me! I am sort-of doing NaNoWriMo, but not officially. And it’s a graphic novel for middle grade kids, so the word count is irrelevant… I think.

    1. I would so love to see you graphic novel. I bet it will be fantastic. And it when it become a best-seller, maybe you might considering illustrating Hot Pocket Love?

  6. This is the same list I would have come up with if I was attempting NaNoWriMo or a post a day. Except for the cat thing … I would have made it a dog and #5. Is it really bad that don’t know what a hot pocket is.

  7. I tried doing a post a day for a while. It felt like a fever dream after a while. Enjoy!

    And I wanted to attempt NaNoWriMo, but then the baby came along and so now I’m adding it to the list of things she owes me.

  8. I was just about to start my novel but realized that I had to check email first because someone might have sent me a message that was really a thickly veiled plot. I nearly spit my oatmeal onto my keyboard laughing several times which would have given me a good excuse for not finishing my novel because the oatmeal would have seeped into the space between the keys and gummed up the “r” and one eally can’t w ite a novel without the ” “. Thank you for saving me f om failu e.

  9. OMG, you and Jen’s posts are so much cleverer than mine that I might have to send My Little Pony horsehead pics to your inboxes. Also, there are others in this mad challenge? Mad, mad, mad world we have. Squirrel.

    Hey, if one of us did a 50 Shades parody on Nano I wonder if E.L. would notice and, like, sue us? Maybe if we made it a human who was a vampire who became a werewolf who drank a lot of booze and became a psycho business guy?

  10. Speaker7,
    Although I’m a tad wary about joining the wagon to NaBloPoMo, these tips would definitely come in handy. Personally, I don’t like goat cheese on my quesadilla. Is that going to be a problem?

  11. You are a bit insane for attempting this post a day and I love you for it. I can barely come up with one post a week. Thinking of cutting it down to one post a month soon. I’m all out of ideas. Can I steal your hot pocket story?

    1. Oh I can barely come up with a weekly post too. That’s why this will be…is good the right word? No, train wreck. Yes, that’s why this will be a train wreck.

  12. Instead of lugging in the vaccuum, you can try pointing the hungry (albeit bleeding) child toward the bits of chicken that fell from your quesadilla into the couch cushions. You’ll be feeding the child and saving electricity at the same time. Surely that’s a good thing..?

  13. I actually considered doing this. If by some miracle I was able to keep up then my present novel would be done by the end of the month. I don’t want to put that much pressure on myself though. I put enough pressure on myself as it is. :-)

  14. Isn’t there a “one hour rule”? You know, where the chicken can sit in the couch for an hour and during that time you can eat it? I mean, once an hour has passed though – it’s a no go. Don’t touch it. But until then…

  15. Why sniff glue when I can read your posts? I want to pour you into a bag and huff you all night long. I think we have a special relationship wherein I am hooked on you and sometimes you acknowledge my presence. See? Special

    In other words, your words make my laugh parts activate. Loudly.

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