In a couple of hours from now, the National Novel Writing Month or the NaNoWriMo will begin in India. For a whole month, aspiring writers across the globe dedicate their time to writing: some setting targets as high as one million words. And achieving them.
The goal is to give yourself that extra push, to overcome the world’s biggest excuse to shy away from creative work: I don’t have time.
Writing advice can be found aplenty elsewhere, so we won’t give much about it. Just a few reminders to get you ready:
Make time: Fix a time during a day. Start with manageable hours, half an hour to one hour at first. Do not compromise with the set time. Choose early mornings or late nights to ensure you have minimum scope to skip it.
Set realistic targets: Even if it is a mere 500 words a day. Increase gradually after a week.
Keep to the same story: Do not abandon drafts halfway. Even if you convert it into a shorter story, see it to completion.
Use a fixed set of tools: While it is convenient to write on the go, and put everything on Google Drive, it may mess with your flow of thoughts. So whether it’s a software on your phone, a book, the word doc, a software on your laptop; stick to one no matter where you end up writing. Our advice: keep a small diary handy to record those epiphanies that will be commonplace once your story does get rolling.
Most importantly: Do not compare yourself to the thousands undertaking the challenge. Maybe you can create a small community that will motivate you to not miss the word count. But in general, do what you must do, and make sure to shut off the Internet. Exchange notes, hunt for beta readers AFTER the month is up.
We at onWriting want to help you through this journey in our own small way: so each day, we will release a new prompt in our prompt of the week section (which will be closed for competitions this month of November 2017), so that if you are stuck somewhere, suffering from a block or just need a sentence to get by with, you can turn to us.
Our Twitter handle @onwriting_in, managed by @sakhiwrites will be posting a daily word count update. Join in the hashtag #NaNoWriMowithOnW and get that little boost to fuel your motivation.
All the best writers, and may the power of words and stories, tales and myths, fact and fiction, fantasy and reality, pull you through.