Are you ready to rummmmble? Or at least ready to knock National Novel Writing Month out of the park? Your resident writing cheerleader is here to get you going.
I’ve been an athlete my entire life, and everything I learned about consistency, discipline and commitment came from sports. Those lessons are absolutely appropriate to NaNoWriMo where you must write at least 1667 words per day to hit the 50,000-word goal in 30 days.
Football players do not take the field without knowing the play. Are they running a dime or nickel defense? Is it a pass or running play? Even if the players don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, they do know their routes and assignments and can flex as needed.
The same is true for getting ready for NaNoWriMo.
- Prep your plot – What is this story about?
- Prep your characters – Who are these people?
- Prep your conflict – Why can’t the main character achieve his or her goal?
Even pantsers do this. They don’t sit down, tilt their heads up to the heavens, raise their arms and suddenly the spirit of a plot weaves its way into their souls and the writing just happens.
There is a game plan.
Take a couple of days and build a full-on battle plan with all the Xs and Os, so that when you sit down, you know what’s happening and where you’re going. #HateMeTodayLoveMeTomorrow
Write. Write every single day.
Whether you write for a certain number of words or certain amount of time is completely up to you. Just make sure you are consistent. Habitual action makes writing easier.
In CrossFit, Tabata is a 20-second on, 10-second off high intensity interval training for a specific number of rounds, typically eight. If you have a hard time getting started or staying focused, use this to keep you relentless in your writing. Replace seconds with minutes and get going.
Write for 20 minutes. When you’re done, get up. Walk around, get a drink, use the restroom, jog around the block. Whatever. Just take the 10-minute break. Then sit down and do it again. Do this for eight rounds and see where you are.
You can also break this up. Do one round in the morning. Another at noon. Again in the afternoon and one late at night.
If Tabata doesn’t work for you but word counts or time in chair does, then do that. Whatever you do, keep going. Every day.
Teams are made up of all kinds of people, with all kinds of different roles: pitchers, catchers, out fielders, in fielders, head coaches, managers, conditioning coaches, fans. All of these people work to make the team successful.
While writing may be solitary in itself, the writing life isn’t. Your writing team is anyone who supports your efforts. From editors to publishers to critique partners, they are your cheerleaders, coaches, analysts and fans. They are your teammates.
Find them virtually or in person.
Make sure to register on the NaNoWriMo site to mark your progress. Then because we’re being competitive, watch your progress against others. It’s also a great place to meet other writers and stay motivated.
Then write with others. Write at Panera or the library or have a group of folks over to the house. The Rockrimmon Library is hosting a NaNo Kick-Off Party on October 27. Stay tuned to Pikes Peak Writers for their monthly events that will absolutely keep you motivated to win NaNoWriMo.
The team will keep you motivated and hungry. #BuiltByWords
You absolutely can do this. You are prepared. You are relentless, and you have people in your corner. 30 days. 50,000 words. Believe it.
Jennifer Lovett Herbranson is the founder of Writer Nation, a podcast and Facebook group dedicated to helping writers market their work.
With 17 years communications experience, she regularly writes on social media, internet marketing and face-to-face publicity.
She currently lives in South Korea and travels around Asia for fun.
You can find her on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest: @jennylovett