a novel idea : advice time

Skye and Ashley host a weekly link-up called A Novel Idea to inspire inspiration, creativity, and digging deep into your writing.  this week, the prompt is: what is your best piece of advice for NaNoWriMo and/or writing in general?

this is less like advice and more like what I've found really works for me over the years. here's hoping it helps you too.

  • set your own pace
    don't look at the people who can write 10k a day and be done before week 1 ends and feel like you're an utter failure. I remember doing that the first few years I took part in NaNoWriMo. it's not healthy, and I feel like it actually makes the quality of writing suffer if you're trying to write more words than your brain can handle in one day. doing this has definitely burnt me out early. so instead of following the "guidelines" or looking at what others do, find what works for you. if that's writing 500 words one day and 5k the next, then by golly, do that. it's also important to look at what you have going on--if you have days where you will be busy all day, or if you have all day to focus on writing--and PLEASE plan for sick days (especially if you're a spoonie). I'm going to be in the midst of taking two pretty writing intensive classes, so I started working ahead this month. use October to the fullest, peoples.
I relate to Rocket a little too much sometimes...

  • try to have a general idea of your story's beginning, middle, and end.
    as someone who's only just figured out how to sort of plot, I never knew where my story was going. and that typically didn't work. it was a LOT easier to get stuck, because I honestly just didn't know what was happening. now, you don't need to have every itty bitty detail sorted out--there needs to be enough wiggle room for creativity and flexibility to squeeze on in. but having a loose plan is definitely something that's helpful.

  • stock up
    tea, chocolate, pencils, fuzzy socks...whatever fuels you, you should have in mass supply. my motivators of choice are anime episodes, Milky Way bites, and chai tea, so I'm going to invest in these things in order to keep me going. what are your motivators of choice??

  • sleep!!
    this is a personal one, for sure. everyone does things differently. but I find that having some sort of a sleep schedule is very helpful for NaNo. having a "bedtime" tells me when I need to shut my brain off, and having a wake up time tells me when I need to turn my brain back on.

    if you stay up past your bedtime to write, this might happen. voice of experience.

  • and finally, have fun
    last year, my NaNoWriMo experience (all ten days of it) was not pleasant. I was stressed, I was tired, and I hated everything I wrote. this was mostly because I was a very sick human being at that time, but it was also due to the fact that I just hadn't planned for fun. so try to make sure you have a good time while writing. pick out music that makes you happy--not just music that fits your story. allow for family time or friend time or alone time that DOESN'T involve writing. get out of the house, even if it's driving to the library or coffee house to write. spice things up, and focus on enjoying the writing experience, not just cranking out 50k words in 30 days.

    this is also acceptable.

what is some advice/tips that you've learned over the years? how have you survived the wonderfully terrible month of November in the past? if you're a newbie coming into this with no experience...what are your biggest concerns about NaNoWriMo??

you will survive. probably.

have a great week!!



  1. I totally agree with everything you said.

    for me, I stock up on popcorn. its just all I live on during November. lol. I think Im gonna have to grab some more tea and yogurt for next month too.
    I love music that doesnt have lyrics because it helps me focus and gets me in a mood. my friend got me into Flying Lotus today and I can already tell I'll be listening to a ton of him in November. lol.

    I would say, just write and enjoy it. be fun, be chill, and soak in the beautiful atmosphere. enjoy talking and being connected to a body of like minded people. and learn something from your story.


  2. You totally amaze me, you know that. The thought of writing 5000 words in some coherent form within the confines of month scares the living daylights out of me. Besides it would take someone twice as long just to figure out all the grammar mistakes that I make ;)
    I hope it is a great month and you have a blast.

  3. I am going to put these tips to good use, but if I ever actually win a Nano I will be surprised, I have no follow through.

  4. Ugh, having a general plan is so crucial, and I keep figuring that out the hard way. My tendency is to be 100% a pantser, which means once I get past the first chapter or so I have NO CLUE OKAY and then I'm just stuck and everything sucks. Which is not fun.

    So for once, I'm hoping to avoid that.

  5. Love this post! Hope it's going super well. I cannot NaNo bc I handwrite and WHO HAS TIME to handwrite AND TYPE 50k in a month? NOT ME THAT'S WHO. But that's OK, I don't think it's really my style, anyway. But I do hope it is going EXTREMELY well for you and tethered!


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