Thursday, 4 October 2012

Naked NaNoWriMo


I am formally declaring my intentions to take part in NaNoWriMo 2012, naked. Okay, maybe not naked. It would not be to pleasant a site. Certainly, there will be times when I spend all day in my pyjamas because getting dressed will stop me from achieving my 8000 word goal for that day - you know, the day three days before the November 30th deadline when you are still 12,000 words short of your 50,000 word goal. If you've ever done NaNo you will understand exactly what I mean.

I have the first two weeks of November as holiday. Some would argue this is not the way to do NaNo, as too much time off will lead to procrastination. But I intend to get the first draft of my young adult novel completed. No excuses.

For those of you taking part this year, here are my tips on how to survive the month:

  • Write every day if you can but allow yourself time off for good behaviour.
  • Do not expect to write the perfect first draft.
  • Let all your friends and family know your writing schedule, and stress the only time they may contact you during your writing time is in an emergency.
  • Unplug your phone and mobile.
  • Turn off your Internet connection whilst you are writing.
  • Have a selection of pre-cooked healthy meals and snacks available. 
  • Have a selection of 'I-can't-take-it-anymore' comfort foods on hand.
  • Ask family members to take care of as many of your chores as possible. Blackmail may be necessary.
  • Join your local NaNo group or an online version for support and advice.
  • Plan a completion celebration or reward.

If you are on the NaNo forums any time from now until the end, you might see me lurking. My username is shatnerstupee (Update: I have changed my username to EllieMGarratt). Yes. It did dawn on me a year after I signed up that toupee is spelt with a u. I'm still blushing over that mistake.

So, are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? If so, is it your first time or are you a seasoned pro? What tips would you offer for achieving the 50,000 word target?

70 comments:

  1. I'm definitely doing NaNo; it will be my third year participating.

    Great list of tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay. Will see you for 30 days of madness.

      Delete
  2. Fantastic points. I'm doing Nano, and it's my 6th year. Lots of caffeine and chocolate on hand is always a good tip.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha love the list. I may consider doing Nano this year, but hmm... I wanted to work on the sequel to my book.

    But good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not this year, as I'll be editing my next book at that time, but I did write CassaFire during NaNo 2010.
    Good luck, Ellie!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That ruins my image of you, Ellie. I thought you wore your spacesuit while writing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. \o/ Yay for NaNo! Looking you up on the site now :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't decided if I'm participating this year or not. I'm almost done with book one of my novel series and only have a minimal idea of book 2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a hard decision to make. I say go for it, if you can.

      Delete
  8. Hi Ellie! I apologize for not stopping by in quite a while. I don't know why....I have no excuse! And you are one of my Favorite Bloggy Friends!!
    Good for you for doing NANO. I've never attempted it and will not again this year. I'm so close to finishing my memoir and I have to concentrate on it. I've actually been writing lots of words every day, so I can sort of join in! Have a great rest of the week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to apologize, Becky. There are never enough hours in the day. Have a great week, too!

      Delete
  9. Good luck with NaNo. Another year passes and I'm not more tempted to try it than I was last year, or he year before that. I struggle enough with my 400 words a day target, so anyone who can even think about giving this a serious go has my deepest admiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a huge time commitment. Maybe one year you'll be tempted?

      Delete
  10. Great tips! I am doing NaNo, though I haven't signed up yet (I haven't thought of a title and I think I need one to sign up??). I've done a version of it each year, with a modified goal word count, but this year I'm trying it in full for the very first time. Good luck!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could just call it (genre) novel - inserting whatever genre it is before the word novel. You saying this has made me realise I need to do my own title etc. Oops.

      Delete
  11. This will be year number three for me.

    Last year I didn't plan... and that is why I am using this year to rewrite my NaNo 2011. Apart from the genre and a couple of character names it's all different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whilst purists would say NaNo is about just writing and having no plan is the way to go, I disagree. It does help to have some idea of what you are writing. Personally, I have the plot fully outlined.

      Delete
  12. Since my last year's NaNo novel (which reached 123K) is still needing at least a 50% re-write, and I am almost at the end of a first draft of the second runner-up of NaNo2010, I sha't be doing it this year - but can attest to its usefulness - best of luck to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sandra. Good luck with your re-writing.

      Delete
  13. I probably won't be doing it - but I wish you all the best of luck. You can do it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I did Camp NaNo and many other things on plate to do like clean up my draft from that.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    http://www.shellysnovicewritings.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall have to look at doing Camp NaNo one year. Good luck with your first draft.

      Delete
  15. GOOD LUCK lovely Ellie! Toupee? That's right isn't it?

    Enjoy!! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, Old Kitty. But I spelt it without the u. Argh.

      Delete
  16. I don't think I'm going to do it this year. The past couple years haven't been that exciting or productive for me, and especially after last year, I felt like I just wasted my time. Then again, I'm hardly writing as it is, so maybe I should just do it... I have until the end of the month to decide!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a tough decision. I didn't do it last year and was glad I decided not to. I wasn't in the right place at the time to commit to it one hundred per cent, and you have to be committed for NaNo.

      Delete
  17. I won't be participating this year. It will follow up on the heels of a blog tour. I must accept my humanity in advance and understand I'll need to give myself a little bit of some time to recover from that. So no NaNo this year.

    As for tips, you touched on them fairly well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your blog tour sounds exciting. I'm planning one for the new year, so I might be asking you for tips and advice.

      Delete
  18. I'm in OctNo right now. :) Best of luck to you, Ellie.

    ReplyDelete
  19. go for it, ellie...

    after some 4-5 attempts, i decided not to try again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laughingwolf. A shame you couldn't get on with NaNo but I guess it's not for everybody.

      Delete
  20. Good luck! I've never done NaNo, but always been interested in it. Does anyone think they're going to write a perfect first draft ever?? I always like to write quick and dirty and fix stuff later. But everybody's gotta edit. Strangely, I've always thought it would be fun to take it to an extreme level and write a first draft in two weeks. Just literally do nothing but write, eat and sleep a bit. Totally lose yourself in your writing world...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read interviews with writers who've written a book in just two weeks. Personally, I couldn't do it. I think my brain would overload!

      Delete
  21. Ellie- guess what? I have decided to sign up for NaNo this year. So what if I don't make my word count- at least I will be writing.

    I tagged you in a challenge at my blog today. Happy Friday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Roll on November 1st.

      Thanks for tagging me.

      Delete
  22. Hello! It's nice to meet you. I'm a new reader, sent from via David Power King's blog.

    I love NaNo, and this will be my fourth year "competing" (with myself) for the 50,000. I definitely do have to switch off my internet, and basically hide away in my office, in order to finish NaNo off, but I've completed it the last three years, so I'm hopeful. I'll be stocking up on my comfort foods (Pocky and Salt and Vinegar crisps) soon.

    Best of luck to you with your NaNo! My username is Belle_Ange, so I'll look at adding you to my writing buddies. YA novels are fun to write, so even when you're stressing for words, don't forget to enjoy yourself! And yes, don't worry about writing a bad first draft -- that's what editing is for! :)

    Best Wishes,

    Alexandra~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Alexandra. Always great to make a new writing friend! And your a NaNo pro. Will find you on NaNo and add you as a friend.

      Delete
  23. Yessss, I am doing NaNo this year. It had never occurred to me that having time off in November would result in slacking, but now that I think about it, that could easily happen with me. I tend to slack off on weekends and during any day off, whereas my nights after my day job are jam packed full of creativey goodness. :D

    I'm going to go and add you on NaNo! i'm yoghurtelf ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've changed my NaNoWriMo id, so will find you. Looking forward to sharing the adventure.

      Delete
  24. I'll be there for the first time this year. I expect my first draft to be a very long way from perfect, but as Alexia says, that's usually the case anyway! Even if it's a mess, it's all practice, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. It will train you in the art of writing every day and sticking to targets.

      Will look for you in Nanoland!

      Delete
  25. Good... um... something to you. Not luck but whatever it is that passes for it. No NaNo for me!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I didn't think I'd do NaNo again this year as I've done it the past two years, however, my critique group is putting the pressure on... so I think I'm leaning a little more to doing it and I'm oberwriter (I think) - ha, isn't that awful that I can't remember? I love your suggestions. You'd think sitting in the chair every day writing would form a nice habit, but once it's over... whew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As fun as it is, we all sigh with relief come December 1st! Hope to see you there.

      Delete
  27. Nano and I are on different space-time continuums. My timing is always off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too funny. Maybe one day the stars will re-align?

      Delete
  28. It sounds like an amazing and oddly scary challenge, I wish you luck with it. I'm trying to work out if I'm brave enough to take part init myself, I fear not. My admiration goes out to you.

    Writing naked is never a good idea, crumbs from the cookies get into places you don't want crumbs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn those crumbs!

      Go on. You know you want to try NaNo. Hehe.

      Delete
  29. Not this year. I have done NaNo though and love it. I'm editing my book. The last pass through. Yippee!!! I wish you tons of luck, Ellie! *waves*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robyn! Good luck with your final edits.

      Delete
  30. I'm going for it too! My tops is 25,000 words and I'm very happy with those results.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I've never done it, but I've always wanted to do NaNo. One of these years I'll clear that month and dedicate myself to it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You go girl! Great advice -- I shut off my WiFi whenever I have some serious writing to do, and it's always good to remember that our first draft is just a sloppy copy. Keeping that in mind, I may have to join up this year...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great advice, Ellie! I totally agree the internet is so distracting to writers that you sometimes have to try to AVOID it for once.

    I've never done NaNo before. I will never participate in NaNo because I freak out when I'm under deadlines. I like writing at my own pace, to tell you the truth.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Livia. I shall be turning my internet connection off for a set time every day during NaNo!

      Delete
  34. Hi Ellie! I "know" you through Summer Ross - and we were both tagged for her "look" writer challenge. I am doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I'm excited and nervous. I have no idea what to expect or how it works but it sounds like a hell of a good time, and I'm always game for a challenge. Thank you for the great tips. I'm now a faithful follower of yours. I'm on NaNo as Jadie Jones, fyi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought I'd replied to your comment. Sorry. I've added you as a NaNo buddy!

      Delete
  35. Good luck, Ellie! Know you'll make your goal. Er, can you share any blackmail tips? LOL
    No, I'm not doing NaNo. Got too much on my plate now.

    ReplyDelete

I love comments. They make my day!