Nanowrimo: Week One Survival Strategy


Out of the gate fast, but hold the reins!

Ok, so it’s day one of week one of Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, and if you’re going to survive the onslaught, you need to be smart about it. The first part is simple, and most have no trouble with it. You want to…


Getting the jump

          Having been through more than a few Nanos, I can tell you that, in the beginning, it’s a good idea to get a quick start and do MORE than you need to. Get a quick start! And most people are fine with this–in fact, they do TOO much the first few days, and that’s why you still need to remember to


hands on reins

          The temptation is to pump out 5000 words or so the very first day. I think that’s a mistake. The problem with doing so much so fast is that you start thinking “Hey, I’m far ahead. I can take a day off if I want to.” And once you start that habit, it’s like peanuts and potato chips–you can’t stop at one.

Instead, get a jump start, yes, but something more like 2000 words. If you divide 50 000 by 30, you get 1667 words per day that you need to do for the month of November to complete Nano. If you write 2000 per day, at the end of the first week, you’ll be more than 2000 words ahead of where you need to be. That means that in an EMERGENCY, you’ll have built up a one-day cushion. Your mind will tell you that you have a day if you need it, BUT…if you use it, it’s gone, and you’ll have to build it up again with another seven days of 2000. That’s a very different thought.

So aim for 2000 per day, and if you still have plenty of ideas remaining, that’s a good thing–no writer’s block for the next day!

Try this:

Give it a go and see how you do. I’ll be back with a Nano update for week #2–ideas that will hopefully kick in at just the WRITE time to keep you going!

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