50,000 words. 30 days. Will You Take The Challenge?
By: Alexis Kateridge
Fall means many things, whether it be pumpkin spice lattes, cute couple costumes for halloween or the start of nights huddled around the TV watching football.
But for some, fall means it’s time to sit down at your computer and write that novel that you’ve been thinking about.
As November approaches, so does NaNoWriMo. Now, you may be asking yourself, what exactly is NaNoWriMo?
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every year in November. According to their website, writers world wide challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of 30 days, with a deadline of 11:59 PM on November 31st.
This task can seem a little daunting to those not accustomed to writing lengthy works, especially not in such a short amount of time. However, over 400,000 people pledged to take the challenge in 2017.
What is in it for you? The sweet, sweet satisfaction of finishing an entire novel in one month, not to mention a great conversation starter come Thanksgiving.
The biggest issue that this challenge poses is getting tired just a few days in.
With 50,000 words to write in just 30 days, a writer must average about 1,667 words per day. In other words, a lot of words for one day.
As a college student, that can be hard to maintain. Not to mention issues such as writer’s block, lack of inspiration, and complete loss of where your story should go might arise.
How do you stay motivated and stick with this daunting and difficult challenge? There are some tips and tricks to help you complete that novel.
First, designate a set amount of time every day to writing. Whether it be waking up an hour early to type before the rest of the world wakes up, or it be stealing a moment in-between classes to furiously type away, so be it.
Just make sure you do it. You can’t write the novel if you don’t make time to do it.
Second, make and follow a schedule. It’s important to maintain a regiment throughout the month.
If you know that you can’t write one day, whether it be you have an intense class schedule or some other plan preventing you from sitting down at your laptop, make sure you make time to catch up.
If you prefer, you can follow the NaNoWriMo calendar, which can be found with a simple google search!
Third, is combating writer’s block. The best advice is to just write through it.
Don’t succumb to the horrors of writer’s block. Truly don’t know what to write? Try utilizing the prompt, “I don’t know what to write.”
It will get you writing with the added bonus that you will be able to vent about the frustrations of your writer’s block, so its a win win.
Fourth, is just writing something. There are no NaNoWriMo rules that state that you need to write a clear coherent story. If you want to write a bunch of short stories, you can do that.
If you find that one day you just don’t have the inspiration to add to your novel, feel free to write a short story one day and go back to it another day.
This way you are still exercising your writing, and staying on top of your word count without coming to detest your work.
Five, is that you should make a playlist. Music has the ability to inspire us in many ways. Make a playlist that is reminiscent of the tone of your writing or the scene you are trying to portray.
Many times this will act as a means of inspiring you to get those words on the page.
No matter your genre, no matter your method, completing NaNoWriMo is an impressive feat.
Now that you have some tips and tricks on how to conquer it, will you take the challenge?