Today on Writers’ Corner, we have a guest post by the amazing D.A. Smith, who will give us some times for how to win NaNoWriMo! D.A. Smith is the author of the sci-fi novel Syphons, which was published in May 2019.
A special thanks go to the very generous host, Sophia Li, the fabulucious (yes, I created that word, just now) author of Sophie’s Corner, who allowed me to share some awesome tips for a second year with her wonderful readers during NaNoWriMo! I’m so excited to share this piece and I hope you enjoy it:
Picture This: You’re nearly two-thirds of the way done with your 50,000-word count for NaNoWriMo. As you settle down with a pen or keyboard for another writing session, social media and other distractions start calling your name. Suddenly, you’re drawn away from your work like a sailor tempted by the death song of a seductive siren.
Yeah, we’ve all been there and it’s easy to start procrastinating especially when a deadline is fast approaching and our brain and bodies want to do everything but focus on writing. However, don’t you fret! I’ve got some handy tips that will help you fight the temptation of procrastination, and make it to the NaNoWriMo winners circle.
1) Use Your Writer Friends To Keep You Accountable
Have you taken advantage of the location-specific groups and their awesome team leaders in NaNoWriMo’s community, yet? If not, you still have time to connect with writers just like you working on the same word-count goal as you. You should use the members and veteran writers to help keep you accountable.
Having someone to check-in on you or even ask about your progress can keep you motivated and focused on completing your goals. Even if it is a complete stranger or a family member, you can start today and asked them to ignite the fire under your writer’s seat by sending you upbeat text messages or asking you for word-count updates.
By doing so, eventually, one of two things will happen: 1) they’ll keep you on track and/or 2) they’ll annoy you into getting your work done.
2) Stay Focused And Have Fun
Procrastination seems to hit the hardest whenever the activity we’re doing just isn’t fun to us. Remember book reports in grade school? They were usually due by the beginning of the school year, right after summer vacation.
Let’s be honest, even if you loved reading, who would want to spend their final days of vacation reading classics like The Call of The Wild? (I would’ve done an entire dissertation, if I had the choice to read a YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy Romance, I digress.) The point I’m trying to make is this: if you’re not having fun with NaNoWriMo, why would you want to waste your precious time writing?
Sometimes, the pressure to complete something like NaNoWriMo, may ruin the real reasons why you’re participating. For instance, you may be doing it because you love to write. Or maybe, you’ve always wanted to write a novel in a month!
Whatever your reason for participation, if it’s not fun you’ll eventually lose some steam. Don’t let things such as numbers, timers, and word counts trigger you to slow down or give up. Remember you’re crafting worlds, creating new life, and putting your soul down on a blank page. You’re doing something that’s meaningful. Fulfill your writing goals and word counts, but do it because it’s fun and enjoyable.
3) Reward Yourself With A Distraction
Now, this step may seem counterproductive, but treat it like a dieter’s cheat day. If you’ve been on a diet before, then you know that eating healthy every day isn’t easy. Some days, you need to reward yourself with a cheesecake (at least I do).
In terms of NaNoWriMo, working on a novel requires a break. And maybe, you’re tempted to check out social media and see what all the other authors are up to? Instead of feeling guilty, why not indulge yourself, in moderation.
Try scheduling time to visit your socials or goof-off after your writing sessions. By putting aside time in your already busy schedule to see posts, clean your junk mailbox (am I the only one who does this?), or catch up on Disney+ shows, you can focus your brainpower on wrapping up NaNoWriMo as a winner and not feel like a loser for falling for a distraction.
Finally, if you’re wondering if my tips work really work, just check out my previous NaNoWriMo project. Hard work and dedication led to my first self-published sci-fi romance novel Syphons, grab the exclusive first chapter preview and a bonus e-book, here.
Did I miss anything? Tell me what you think. Do you have any other handy tips to share with the rest of the NaNoWriMo community or just other writers in general?
Are you a writer? Whether you are a published author or an aspiring writer, you are welcome to contribute to a feature on Writers’ Corner, whether it is an author interview or a guest post. Check out the details here!