Tips to Survive NaNoWriMo + NaNo update #1

So here’s the dealio…

I’ve never done NaNoWriMo before.

I know you must be wondering, “What is a first-timer doing giving tips on how to survive NaNo???”

The short answer: it doesn’t make much sense to me either.

The long-ish answer: I’ve researched this. Like, a lot (since last year around this time). I’ve read articles, watched videos, and followed bloggers as they battled through this tough month of writing. Through that research I’ve compiled my own list of things that would be good to keep in mind to make things easier during this month.

And I’d like to share these with you today, even if you’ve done NaNo for five years already. But maybe this is your first time. Anyway, here they are, and I hope maybe you’ll at least find one that will make National Novel Writing Month for you just a tad easier. 😉

#1: The 20-20-20 Rule

Those long hours at the screen can be taxing on the eyes. Preserve your eyesight using this rule. The 20-20-20 means every 20 minutes you look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes the break they need from the screen light.

#2: Exercise

Keep the circulation going and battle away the sitting-for-too-long lethargy by exercising throughout the day. Not only does it keep you healthy, but it’ll give you a nice break from writing.

#3: Music

Music is essential for motivation! I love using music by Audiomachine; epic movie trailer music! Create a playlist of the best songs for your WIP, or even one for each scene.

#4: Drink Plenty of Water

You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it really is important. Typing away at the computer can make us forget the important things like oreos ahem water. You can keep a bottle next to your work space.

#5: Scene Outlines

To prevent writer’s block and hitting dead ends, you can write a short description of each scene in your book (or maybe even each chapter). It always feels good to know exactly where you’re going, especially when you have a deadline for 50k words in a month. Even pantsers need somewhat of an outline during NaNo. 😉

#6: Writing Craft Books

It’s a good idea to keep writing book close by for reference when needed. Check out my blog post here about some of the best ones.

#7: Word sprint daily

Word sprints are great for getting the words flowing and shutting out distractions. I like to sprint for five or ten minutes, but find whatever time works best for you and your word count. Plus, it’s super fun. 🙂

#8: Change the scenery

Don’t just write in one place through the whole month. Get outdoors, go to a park, a bookstore, or a coffee shop to change things up and stay inspired.

#9: Find a NaNo friend!

Writing doesn’t have to be a lonely job. If you have a writer friend doing NaNo, get together to write, word war, or just procrastinate together. 😀

#10: Have fun!

After all, writing is fun. 😉

NaNo update #1

(note: I’ll just only give updates on the days that I got writing done)

November 1st

started novel nano badge

Of all days for me to be extremely tired in the middle of the day…

Yup, today I was super duper tired. On the first day of nano of the first year of my participating in it. Figures.

But I pushed passed the tiredness and still got writing done! *applause* I mean, sleep is not a priority during November, right? 😉

Words written today: 1,444

Total word count: 1,444 (’cause…yeah it’s just the first day)

(oh, and I did it without the aid of Oreos 😛 #selfcontrol)

I didn’t get the amount of writing done this day that I would’ve liked, but it’s a start (I was crunched for time anyway). I hope my other days will be more productive.

November 2nd

2-day writing streak badge.png

Today was a busy day, with siblings sports games, getting senior pictures taken, and having a guest over, I didn’t have much time for much else until late evening. But I got more writing done than the day before, which is…well, it really wasn’t that much more…

Words written today: 1,546

Total word count: 2,990

Yup, so….I hope I can write more words in a day in the future. 🙂

page break for blog

Now, depart and write, you faithful scribes! May your writing prosper and your word count flourish! 😀


Write on,

blog signature new

How did your first few days of NaNo go? How are you feeling about your progress for the rest of the month?


      • Lilian

        Sure! I don’t know if I mentioned it or not, but I’m not doing NaNo (I’m not a writer, heh). So we could be accountability partners for NaNo + homework (for me), if that’s alright with you? xP

          • Lilian

            Hmm… would Google Hangouts work for you, so we can get back to each other quicker? (I always have my Gmail tab open, but I don’t for Goodreads, so… but I’m still okay with GR if you want to do it that way). 😀 If Hangouts works, you can contact me on there with the email I use (I assume you can see my email?). Let me know! Thanks Jenna! 🙂

          • Jenna


            Oh, I have two different emails for you (one for stellae books and the other you used to contact me about commenting), which one do you want me to use?

          • Jenna


            Okay…I’m actually having trouble with Hangouts (not sure why); could you just send me a message via hangouts so I can see if i can trouble shoot this? I think you should be able to see my email from when we were corresponding about commenting.

          • Lilian

            Did so! 😀 If this doesn’t work, Goodreads is totally okay (also, lol, sorry about all the comments on your blog *hides*).

%d bloggers like this: