National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts in less than a month. And during each November, new writers sit down in front of their computers hoping to write a book with child-like wonderment. That’s awesome… if you’re a child. And if you are, let me help your pat you on the back and say, “You can do it, Squirt!” For the rest of you, I’m going to offer much-needed advice to get you prepped for your 50,000 shades of pain.
- Wearing a t-shirt that says you’re a writer doesn’t mean a damn thing if you haven’t written anything. You want to feel like a writer? Sit your ass down and write!
- NaNoWriMo is not about writing the next blockbuster. It’s an exercise in survival. Get that through your head, take off those rose-colored specs and maybe you’ll get through it.
- Unless you’re John Locke, those 50,000 words will suck. The sooner you recognize that, the sooner you can focus your attention to grinding out words.
- Turn off the freaking spell check. First, seeing all those red squiggly lines will remind you about how those words suck. Second, this ain’t a spelling bee.
- When people tell you how brilliant your early pages are, they are lying. They already know you’re stressed and don’t want to piss you off any more than you are already.
- Stop playing Candy Crush Saga, updating Facebook about what television show you’re watching or what cute thing your cat did this morning. Same goes for Twitter and you sneaky Google+ users. You want to socialize, do it after your daily word goal.
- Overwhelmed with your lack of progress? Need a sounding board? Then brood after you’ve finished your daily word count and pity yourself for the rest of the day.
- Do you know what a write-in is? You do? Then shut up and keep your nose in your project until break time. You have questions? Jot them down and ask later. Waste your own time, not anyone one else’s.
- Finished writing your novel in one day? Congrats you lying charlatan! You either copied the same sentence repeatedly or you already had the words written before NaNo started. You should burn your project and your computer because you’re going to hell for pissing on the spirit of NaNoWriMo.
- Did your friends finish their before you? Big freaking deal. Before you get all jealous and return your “I’m a Writer” t-shirt because you feel like a failure, keep writing. Maybe your buddy finished before you because they stayed off Facebook.
- Why are you still worried about the best tool for writing when you’re supposed to be writing? You should have thought about it earlier. You should be disqualified from NaNo for not being prepared.
- You survived NaNo, what’s next? First, congrats! You’re not the wimp you thought you were. Now go put on your t-shirt, turn on your spell check and start fixing that mess you made.
Remember, NaNoWriMo starts on November 1. If you haven’t yet signed up, then why are you still staring at this page? Here, I’ll make it easy for you.
Simple. Wasn’t it?
“NaNoWriMo Survival Guide” first published on Writing While Wearing a Straitjacket.
If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year and need a hand to hold, feel free to add me as a writing buddy. I promise not to bite.
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