Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to win NaNoWriMo: Realistic Goals, determination and a bottomless pot of coffee

NaNo season has begun. Novelists around the world are franticly researching, outlining, and character mapping in preparation for the 50,000-word dash to the finish line that begins November 1st.

Writing 50,000 words in 30 days might seem daunting. There will be days mid November it feels that way. A writer questions their sanity level on accepting such a wild notion of writing an entire novel rough draft in a month. It can be done if the writer is determined.

It takes a special kind of dedication to the craft of word spinning to stick to daily goals and make the novel a priority. This becomes hard when life happens and shakes up a writer’s daily routine. That is where making goals for your writing and novel become important.

Sure, the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 crazed days. However, that’s the big picture and the thought of the number 50,000 can make the head spin. (no pea soup, just head spinning) To ease the panic of “OMG I’m behind on my word count!” Make realistic NaNo goals that will fit your average day.

Have a word count goal for each day. NaNo suggests at least 1,667 words per day. Maybe you work long hours and can write each day but not that much. That’s okay. Your realistic goal might be 800 words on a workday and 3,000 on days off. Don’t be afraid of falling behind. Most everyone is going to fall behind at some point.

That’s where that determination comes in. If you fall behind don’t panic or give up on winning. You can do it. Just adjust those daily goals, brew a pot of coffee and challenge yourself a bit more to grab time to write those words.

We can do it; we just need realistic daily writing goals, a strong determination, and a bottomless pot of hot coffee. (Preferably Starbucks Mocha or Peppermint Mocha. Yum!)

I’ll see you in the winner’s circle. I’ll probably be a lil tipsy on the caffeine: D If you would like to add me as a NaNo Buddy: flsandcastle

In perfect timing, the new round of ROW80 begins this week also. Here are my goals for this round.

Round 4 Goals
Write every day
Complete NaNo with seventh Win
Complete novel edits

Goals for Week 1
Write every day
Start outline for NaNo Novel
Finish preparations for Region Kick Off  (Go Lake Writers!)

Click these links for more information about NaNoWriMo or Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80)

How do you work NaNo into your busy daily life? 


  1. Hey Elise,

    I'm working on my outline for NaNoWriMo, but I'm really sweating it because I know the book will weigh in around 120,000 words based on the finished, revised length of the first book in the series. I'm not sure I'll have the outline worked out in time. Thankfully, I don't have too much character work to figure out this time around.

    Super glad there are others planning to NaNo this year. Best wishes for a productive week!

  2. I'm doing NaNo again this year, but I'm cheating a bit -- I'm carrying on with the novel I began last year's NaNo. I only got like 10k words written before I quit, and I haven't added a thing since. I figure writing SOMETHING is better than writing NOTHING. My goal this time around is to actually complete the book, regardless of final word count, and I'm banking on NaNoWriMo and ROW80 to help. Good luck to us both! :)

  3. Thanks for stoping by Andi and Katherine :) I love NaNo it gets me really inspired. Katherine it sounds like you've got a good start. there's still 2 and a half weeks we can plot it out by then... maybe? :D

    Andi You can do it this year! I have a couple of Wrimos who are going to work on unfinished projects too. That's the awesome thing about NaNo it pushes us to get'er done LOL

  4. This will be my second year attempting NaNo, and hopefully my first year to win!

    I'm rebelling this year and writing short stories instead of a novel. I don't have nearly enough planning done yet!

    Good luck on your NaNo and ROW goals!

  5. I admire anyone who's even trying. Best of luck, Elise!

    I hope you might consider joining my bloggers' book club. Details are here:

  6. Have completed Nano three times, also Script Frenzy and Camp NaNo a couple of times each. Really looking forward to it again. My goal is usually 100,000 words rather than 50,000 words. I find that if I only write 50,000, then I end up with an unfinished book, and once Nano is over, I am tired and want to leave it for a while (going back to editing and marketing other works, etc.) Leaving an unfinished book in that state is a bad idea. Much harder to pick it up again. So 100,000 works for me.


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