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A WriMo Survival Guide

Since we’re closing in on NaNoWriMo in November, we’ll use that event for the purpose of this epic morsel of motivation. However, this works for Camp NaNoWriMo, JulNoWriMo or any writing event.

November is approaching faster than winter in a George R. R. Martin novel. With so many new writers participating in NaNoWriMo this year with the wide-eyes and itchy fingers, I wanted to be the first to give you a pre-NaNo pep talk. I bet you’re just filled with giggles at the thought of hammering out that next media blockbuster. Good! Remember those warm fuzzies after the first 10,000 words. By the way, if you’re under 18 and this is your first (or 10th) NaNoWrimo, congrats, Squirt! For the rest of you amateurs, here’s some much-needed straight talk to get you prepped for November.

Ready? Good. Let’s start.

  • Buying and wearing a t-shirt saying you’re a writer doesn’t mean a damn thing if you haven’t written anything. Want to feel like a writer? Sit your butt down and write!
  • NaNoWriMo (JuNoWriMo, Camp NaNo and their ilk) is not about writing the “bestseller,” it’s about survival. The sooner you take off those stupid rose-colored glasses, the sooner you’ll claw your way to 50,000 words.
  • Unless you’re John Locke those 50,000 words you write are going to suck. Deal with it now. It will hurt less later.
  • Turn off the freaking spell check. First, those red lines will get on your nerves. Second, this ain’t a spelling bee…THIS IS NANOWRIMO!
  • Why the hell are you letting people read your early pages? Did you not read tip 3?
  • Reality check: when people say your early pages are brilliant, they’re lying to you. They already know you’re stressed and don’t want to piss you off any more than you are already.
  • If you’re supposed to be writing, then for the love of chocolate chips, write! Why are you buying t-shirts that say you’re a writer when all you do is play games on your iPad? (Okay, Android tablet, for those thinking they're too avant garde to use an iOS device.) Your status updates about your cat do nothing for your word count. And turn off Twitter, too. (That goes for you sneaky Google+ users, too.) You want to socialize? Do it after your word count. Why? Because THIS IS NANOWRIMO!
  • Feel like NaNoWriMo’s too much? Feel overwhelmed? Need to talk it out with a friend? Then do it after you’ve finished your word count. You then have the rest of the day to pity yourself.
  • Remember that write-ins are supposed to be for writing. So please, again, for the love of chocolate chips, shut the hell up and keep your face in your project until break time. Have questions? Jot them down in your notes and ask later. Waste your time on your time, not on my time or the guy sitting next to me.
  • You finished your WriMo in one day? Congrats! You either pulled a Jack Torrence and copied the same sentence repeatedly, or you already had the project done before the month started. You should burn your project and your computer because you’re going to hell for pissing on what NaNoWriMo represents. A MONTH of writing. Not a DAY… a MONTH!
  • Writing buddy finished before you? Before getting jealous and returning your t-shirt to Amazon because you feel like a failure, keep writing. Maybe your buddy finished before you because they stayed off the dark side of YouTube!
  • 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 in the year. You should be disqualified from NaNoWriMo for not being prepared.
  • You survived the month-long battle and don’t know what to do next? First, congrats! Bet you didn’t think you would get here. Now go in that Amazon box, pull out your t-shirt (yes, the one that says you’re a writer) and post Tweets, statuses and selfies until you drop. You deserve it.
  • Bonus tip: Guess what, if you start outlining and jotting down ideas about your project now, you won’t waste the first week on posting on your social networks that you don’t know what to write about.

So what are you waiting for? Go type something!

Photo by Love.Sasha.Lynn

Published in NaNoWriMo

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