What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

07 October 2015

Pep Up Your #NaNoWriMo

There's a NaNoWriMo badge this year for writing a NaNo Pep Talk, which you're technically supposed to post in the forums, but I have a blog, so here it is.

This will be my sixth NaNoWriMo, and my first one not being juggled along with end-of-semester chaos, for which I am incredibly thankful. But every year in the forums, there's a thread with some variation on, "OMG, I'm doing NaNo while in college! How will I survive??" Obviously, thousands of people manage it every year, so it can be done. But it's easier with a few tips:

1. If your social media accounts aren't helping you, they're off-limits.
Unless you have a supportive community who gets what NaNo is all about and shares inspiration instead of filling your timeline with whatever nonsense is in season, you don't have time to fritter away on social media. For me, it's best to keep Twitter, turn off everything else. Blogging may fall into this category, depending on if it helps you or not. Make your choices early and stick to your guns!

2. Commuting time is writing time.
If public transportation is an option in your city, now is the time to use it. If not, consider carpooling with a friend. Time not spent driving is time you can spend writing! And to make this one work even better...

3. Make sure your NaNo novel syncs across all your devices.
Google docs, Dropbox, email it to yourself-- whatever it takes to be sure if you have to switch from laptop to tablet to phone that your novel comes with you. Obviously, if you're using the Luddite Clause, this one doesn't apply to you.

4. Minutes matter!
Only have five minutes to write between classes? No worries. Have a little Word War with yourself and see how many words you can get in those five minutes. If you've never been able to write in short spurts before, NaNoWriMo is a great time to flex those dormant writing muscles and see what they can do for you.

5. Do your homework first.
Even better: you still have a whole bunch of October left to get ahead in as many classes as possible. But once November hits, you still should finish classwork before NaNo-ing. You're spending too much time, money, and effort on your education to slack off just because it's NaNoWriMo. Think of writing time as your reward.

6. Caffeine is your friend.
Especially if you can make your own caffeinated beverages at home and save some cash. Get yourself a good travel mug ahead of November so you can keep your caffeine on hand.

And the most important one to remember:

7. You must always be doing something.
If you don't already have good time management skills, no worries. The critical thing to remember in November is this: if you're awake, you're doing something. Keep your novel and any reading for class handy so you can grab one or the other when you have a couple free minutes. Make to-do lists so you don't forget things. Take time to eat, look after yourself, do your share of the housework so your roommate doesn't kill you-- but whatever you do, keep moving.

Yes, doing NaNoWriMo and higher education at the same time is possible, even though it may seem daunting. Don't give up!


J E Oneil said...

November is never a convenient month for me. I hope you have fun. Not being in school will definitely make it easier. I've got to ask, though: who would ever want to use the Luddite Clause?!

Su Wilcox said...

I have often wondered that. Apparently there are people who still write better with pens & paper. I'm good with a computer.