Are you having trouble meeting your daily wordcount goal? Do you never have enough time to write? Never fear! These tips have been proven to work by yours truely.
- Dedicate your novel to me.
- Plan out your novel ahead of time, even if all you do is jot down a few notes. Don’t start your month of writing without something in mind.
- Ask someone to poke you/punch you/kick you/tickle you to death/hit you over the head with pillows/throw bananas at you/threaten you with all of the above if you haven’t met your goal for the day.
- Have no more than 2 Internet tabs open. Maybe YouTube and the Camp NaNoWriMo site, so you can update your wordcount. If you open 11 tabs, you probably won’t be able to resist checking them, unless you are Supergirl/Superman.
- Wear weird socks. This has been proven to increase your writing output by up to 85% if the socks are mismatched as well. The author of this post has not yet done enough research to explain why this is so.
- Try to get as many of your Big, Important Things Which Must Be Done (in my case for June, completing my 4-H projects) before your month of noveling starts. This way, you can devote yourself to noveling (and eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom, etc. I’m not saying to ignore those things in favor of typing all day!), without worrying and yelling things like, “AUUUGGGHH! I SHOULD’VE WORKED ON MY 4-H PROJECTS BEFORE I STARTED THIS ‘CAUSE I HAVE 21 OF THEM AND THE DEADLINE IS IN THREE DAYS AND AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
- While writing, if someone comes near you and you sense that they are about to ask you to do something for them, loudly exclaim, “Dang it! I forgot to buy platypus food again!” or something similarly insane. This will cause the other person to believe you are crazy and they will quickly walk away, not wanting to spend any more time with you. So you can continue your writing, undisturbed.
- When you finish writing for the day, always stop in the middle of a sentence. I learned about this from reading an interview with Norton Juster, the author of The Phantom Tollbooth. It really does work. You can jump right in and you’re not sitting in front of the screen for 15 minutes while you try to think of something to write.
- Don’t forget to make sound effects as you write. “AUGH!” “OH NOOOO!” “GADZOOKS!” “BOOM!” “SPLAT! …urgh.” “GRR!” It’s very fun; it gets you into the spirit of your story; it makes people leave you alone.
- Don’t worry if you need a name for a character and you don’t really have the time to find a good one. You can always call him Bob for 50,000 words and then change him to Maurice Edgar de Hippopotamus-Fletcher during editing.
- Eat happy food to make you feel happy about your novel, even when you’re behind by 25,000 words. The happiest foods are cupcakes, broccoli, baloney, pickles, cherry tomatoes, and cheese. These foods are either really yummy or they’re yummy and have happy names.
- Face it – your novel is going to go off on weird tangents due to your lack of sleep and your desire to hit 50,000 words.
- Throw stuff at anything that distracts you. Friends, family, that adorable bird sitting on the windowsill and chirping loudly, the TV, whatever. The bigger/harder/pointier the object, the better. It gets rid of your frustration.
- Figure out when you can write. You’ll probably be busier on some days than on others, so write more on the days when you’re not as busy. Hey, I was just on a week-long vacation and I’m not behind on my wordcount! I wrote plenty ahead of time.
- Create a shrine to your favorite author and pray at it. Be sure to throw in tons of compliments about their writing and general awesomeness.
- I know this list is about what to do to write (“But half the suggestions are ridiculous!” “Shut up!” I could’ve been noveling right now, but I gave you some advice instead!), but remember to take a break from writing. Go for a walk, read a picture book, play with your cat/dog/bird/armadillo/chinchilla/gecko, spin around in circles until you get dizzy and fall over, or whatever. Just relax. You can’t make any progress if you’re burned out. And you’ll probably finish your novel. If not, the world won’t end. Instead, you will be punished by being crushed by a gigantic falling bookcase while your favorite author laughs in the background. Just kidding!
Now. Get to work, already! Write!