Tips to Survive Nanowrimo With Your Sanity

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in NaNoWriMo, Writing | 1 comment

Tips to Survive Nanowrimo With Your Sanity

Oh, hello, look at that – we’re halfway through the month.

Halfway through Nanowrimo.

Did anyone else get chill bumps from that?

No? Maybe it’s just me.

Regardless, it’s halfway through Nanowrimo, and it’s time for you to evaluate and shift plans if needed.


Tips to Preserve Your Sanity AND Win Nanowrimo


Stay in the mood.

No, you don’t need to get the scented candles out.  Although depending on what you’re writing, you may want to. What best connects you to the mood of your story? Is it a playlist of music to write to? Is it a Pinterest board of things that matches the scene? Is it behaving similarly to your main character? (True story: I had a character who would always oblige if I ate Nutella. No Nutella? No words. Sometimes these things just work.)


Write in sprints.

Turn everything off and simply write for thirty minutes. Then rest for then. Wash and repeat as needed. Get all the words out there, give your brain time to rest and rejuvenate, and then go at it again.


Have a partner.

Having someone to check in can keep you motivated. Talk about what you’ve achieved. Set goals with someone, and have them hold you to it. Don’t have anyone to talk Nano with? Peek at our list of Nano participants!


Celebrate your achievements.

Rewards keep people going. It’s true. I bribe myself to do manual labor with baked goods, to respond to emails with chocolate chips, and for doing crazy workouts with thirty minutes to sit with a book and not do a thing (or move a muscle, because ow). Are you 25% through?  Time for a reward. 50%? Time for an even bigger reward. You can do it whatever denomination you need, as long as it keeps you going.

Reward ideas: Chocolate. Sprinkles in your coffee. Reading one chapter from a book. Time to paint your nails. A glass of wine. Dance party in your pajamas. A bath with a vanilla scented candle. Baking cupcakes. Twitter time.


Remember this is a first draft.

Do you know what first drafts aren’t supposed to be? Perfect.

Do you know what first drafts don’t have to be? Good.

And yes, I’m serious. What matters the most is getting your words on the paper – not how well edited this is, not how many times you start sentences with But, not how many times you say “she said”.  All of that can be touched up later. You don’t have to over-think it – just let the words flow. Words on paper. This is all.


If that’s not enough to keep you going, feel free to check out our Ultimate Nanowrimo Guide. For now, I’m back to the story of a girl with a gun.

May the words be with you,

Kristen Jett, Kristen Jett author, KristenJett, @KristenJett


One Comment

  1. Love the Pintetest idea! I am going to have to try that.

    Oh, and chocolate rewards too!

    My husband and I are both doing Nano so we keep each other on track and we are pretty competitive with one another.


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