Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Lessons Learned from National Novel Writing Month

Posted by: Maureen

Many of you may be familiar with National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo). I’ve rambled on about it time and again. 

But if you haven’t heard, each November writers try and write 50,000 words toward a novel. 

As #NaNoWri has evolved, there are many different versions so goals can be attainable for kids as well. I’ve participated for many years. The first few years I didn’t even come close, but once I won, I wanted to have that feeling of accomplishment every year. 

Because NaNoWri is about more than just writing 50,000 words, it’s about discovering just what you’re capable of if you apply yourself to a goal. Some of the lessons I’ve learned from NaNoWriMo can be applied to each day or month of the year.


Find Support & Accountability

We all have lofty goals that seem almost unattainable. Sometimes we may call them dreams and feel as if they are things we can only wish for. Although there are some things that are within our control if we apply ourselves and find the support to keep us accountable. Even if we are only accountable to ourselves. 

  • Goals are met through babysteps. I don’t sit down on November 1st thinking that I'll write 50,000 words. If I did, I’d probably be completely overwhelmed and quit before I got started. Instead, I plan to write at least 1,667 words each day. That’s an attainable goal for me. Even if I break it into 2 writing periods during the day to get there with smaller steps. Those little steps add up. 
  • Announce your goal to others, or find someone who will be your cheerleader to keep you accountable. Even if it’s making your own chart and watching the numbers grow. Your goals and dreams are most important to you, so nurture them.

These tips can be applied to new habits, or working toward any dream. One day at a time. To reference one of my favorite quotes, 

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams

Practice Productivity 

There are many distractions in life, and especially on the internet, that can make a task take much longer than necessary. Find your focus and set a time to work on a task, and a goal of when to finish. You might discover that you can complete it much quicker than you realized. 

Some people practice specific techniques to increase productivity, but only you can determine what works for you. I've used these productivity techniques throughout the year.

  • Pomodoro Technique – Setting a time for a specific time frame (usually 25 minutes) and working with five minute breaks between sets.
  • Sprints- are particularly popular for NaNoWriMo and effective for me. Choose a time frame and race against the clock to get as much done as possible. Whether it’s writing words, completing chores, or other tasks. 
  • Find your Magic – for me I know that I have to organize my desk and clear out most of my emails to be able to focus and be more productive. Otherwise, I’m distracted. Determine what helps you focus. It may be a certain space in your home, a certain time of day, or creating a relaxing atmosphere.

My NaNoWri Novel

I won NaNoWri again this year. That doesn’t mean I have a complete book ready to go. It means it’s in an ugly draft form, and it needs many more words, and a whole lot of editing to be complete. But I have 50,000 words to a brand new story that I didn’t have a month ago. 

Plus, I know that several of these ugly drafts have later been released to the world as my book babies. I still have 3 NaNoWri winners in draft, but here are a few of my former NaNoWri winners now available in print.

Chance Taken -2014 Winner renamed as Not a Chance

For The Love of Grandma -2013 Winner renamed Grandma Must Die 

See No Evil- 2012 Winner renamed Evil Speaks Softly 

Do You Have Any Productivity Tips to Share?

A Few Chances to Win a Gift for Yourself This Holiday

It seems that when I start holiday shopping, that’s when I find things I want for myself, but I feel guilty because I should be buying for others. Here are a few contests that you can enter to try to win a guilt-free prize for yourself.


Hurry- this contest wraps up Today- December 5th

 Your chance to win a Kindle Fire 7 Tablet$25 worth of ebooks from Amazon (winner’s choice, up to 5 total books) - $20 Amazon gift card$15 worth of ebooks from Amazon (winner’s choice, up to 3 total books)- $10 Amazon gift card Check it out Right Here

Make Your Month More Merry 

Enter for your Chance to win a kindle fire or echo dot Right Here

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBubAmazonand/or signing up for her newsletter

1 comment:

  1. I like the tip of clearing your desk. I completed NanoWriMo this year. My biggest hurdle besides life was staying away from the daily pitch for the spider solitaire contest.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...