02 November 2012

NaNoWriMo pep talk: starting strong

It's the first weekend of NaNoWriMo, folks! Hooray!

Have you started writing yet? Have you met your word count goal for the first couple of days?

The beginning of the month is usually good, isn't it? We start strong out of excitement, ready to tackle a new, fun project.

I have a traditional job, so the majority of my NaNo-ing will be on the weekends before the kids are up in the mornings, during afternoon quiet time, or after they've gone to bed. This first weekend is key for me to set the stage for the rest of the month. I have to start strong. Not only for the momentum to carry me through the rest of the month, but I know that if I start next week behind, it'll be even harder to catch up as the month progresses.

The good thing is that the first weekend of the month is always exciting. Your story is just starting, the month is just starting, and your eyes and mind are full of nothing but the potential of the story. If you want to write ahead a bit, this first weekend is the one to do it. Take advantage of the motivation you feel (and the energy from caffeine and enough sleep) to push through 2,000+ words a day so you'll be able to start next week in a good place.

This is a fun part of the month for NaNo. Since you're just starting out, setting the scene allows for detailed descriptions. Introducing characters includes descriptions and (can include) lengthy conversations. There are no plot holes or writing yourself into a corner. There's no getting stuck on the next step or whether or not you've got enough story to make 50,000 words. None of that matters right now because it's the beginning of the month. All you have is the beginning of the story, and you can let that propel you forward.

Remember, no matter what happens for the rest of the month, whatever you write this weekend will be more than you had on October 31st. And if you start strong, you can use the momentum through the rest of the month.

Happy writing!


  1. Have you ever heard of the book The Weekend Novelist? It's an interesting book on writing specifically for the people with day jobs who mainly write on the weekends. It's the kind of book that's good for plotters, but even as a pantser I thought it was interesting.

  2. Woot! Best of luck, heart sister - I'll be cheering you on! Also, squee! COFFEE HOUSE BOOK!!!!

  3. Neurotic Workaholic, I've heard of the book but haven't read it. I may have to check it out.

    Dana, thanks! I'm looking forward to making good progress on the story!


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