BY NANCY KAY CLARK
CommuterLit Editor & Publisher
Copyright is held by the author.
IT’S NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again, where thousands of people across the continent hunker down in the month of November to write ~ 1600 words a day. The goal is to emerge out of your cave on Dec. 1 with a draft of a 50,000-word novel.
I’m abstaining this year — as I have too many first drafts and not enough third, fourth, and fifth drafts. But having completed the challenge last year, I thought I’d share what I learned with those of you participating this time around or who want to establish an ongoing daily writing practice.
Here are the strategies that worked for me.
1. Pick a space to write in. Doesn’t matter where it is as long as you are comfortable there and won’t be disturbed.
2. Close the door, shut off your phone and unplug from the Internet.
3. Pick a start time and end time and stick with those times every day. Yes, there will be the odd day you have to shift your writing session to accommodate the unexpected, but do try to be as consistent as possible. Schedule the time slot in your calendar.
4. Have a goal in mind — either a word count, or length of time you will write.
5. Start each writing session by reading out loud what you wrote the previous day. This will get you back into the story and into the writing mindset.
6. Leave your perfectionist zeal behind. Flag what you think will need to be fixed in the next iteration, but do not make anything but minor changes now. Keep moving forward.
7. Even if you are having trouble writing on a particular day, persevere until the end of the scheduled session. Make notes, plan, daydream, write something — anything — down.
8. When the session is up. It’s up. Go on with the rest of your day.
Doing some early Holiday shopping?
Check out our Book Store page, listing titles all written by contributors, as well as one by the editor.
Ivanka Fear has released her second book, Where is My Husband?, a domestic thriller, the first in the Jake and Mallory Thriller series, published by Level Best Books. It is available in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon and Indigo.