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Top NaNoWriMo Tips

For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a crazy writing project that happens every November, with the goal of getting authors (whether amateur or professional) to write an amazing 50,000 words in one month! That’s 1,667 words a day. Still in shock? Check out I_AM Self-Publishing’s Beginner’s Guide to NaNoWriMo here.

Author Ruth Livingstone, knows a thing or two about time management and productivity, which is something all authors struggle with. In fact, she has successfully completed NaNoWriMo five times! She has just published Walking The English Coast, which started life as a NaNoWriMo project and shares her top tips here.

1. Get a notebook

Label it with the name of your story, and keep it beside your keyboard. You’re going to need it.

2. Do any research you need in advance

In your notebook, write down notes on characters and locations, and, most importantly, write down a basic outline of your story. It’s a good idea to really get to know your characters …

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Just NaNoWriMo it!

‘You what?’ my husband says when I announce I’m planning to take part in NaNoWriMo (a global writers’ challenge to pen 50,000 words of a novel between 1st and 30th November).

‘Are you bonkers, Mum?’ echoes my nine year old looking up from his iPad with quirked eyebrows. ’50,000 words in a month? How on earth are you going to do that?’

‘Does it mean you won’t be able to build my Lego spaceship with me like you said you would?’ adds my youngest in a wobbly voice.

All good questions (albeit not the ‘go girl!’ cheerleader cry I’d have liked). Am I mad? Will I be able to do it? And what will it mean for my family life?

‘There’s a website about it,’ I say to the boys. ‘I could show it to you if you like. Here, Max pass me the iPad and we’ll have a look.’

There’s a short debate about whether he’ll be able to carry on with Minecraft afterwards and then he hands it over and we open the official NaNoWriMo site.

‘Look,’ …

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How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: Top 5 Tips

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo started in 1999 to encourage would-be novelists to just sit down and have a go at writing a novel in a supportive environment (and to encourage those procrastinators to just get on with it). Writers  all over the world who are game for the challenge sign up and commit to trying to write 50,000 words in just one month. It may sound impossible, but last year alone over 300,000 writers signed up to NaNoWriMo.

Why NaNoWriMo Works

  • You are in it together – never underestimate the power of a community. Writers are expressive, articulate, communicative souls, but conversely writing can be quite a solitary and insular process – hours spent on your own (in your study/garden shed) tapping out words on a keyboard. It is no surprise that they appreciate the support and encouragement of other writers.
  • You are against the clock – because you know you only have one month to write 50,000 words, you will squeeze in as much …

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Don't Be Afraid Of Writing Fast


Every year I read the same things about the speed of my writing.

"You're making a lot of mistakes, eh?"
"You will have to cut a lot of those words."
"You are writing garbage, because you're too fast."
"You will ruin your hands in no time."
"You're ruining the spirit of NaNoWriMo."

My first official NaNoWriMo was in 2013; before that I did one Camp NaNoWriMo. In 2013, I completed the 50k in 5 days and wrote a total of 120k words that month. A couple of days before the 1st of November I read about the #50k5Days challenge and considered participating in it. I wasn't prepared for it, but I really wanted to try it out. So I did.

When I finished the last thousand words I was really proud of myself.

But then somebody came up and asked me, how much of what I wrote was I going to toss out (because of its supposedly bad quality). I was astonished, because I thought that the draft was quite decent, so I reread it, to see who of us was right. Turned out it was me. There was no drop in quality …

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NaNoWriMo - A New Beginning?


Sunday 1st November 2015 signifies the start of a new journey for me. I'll be taking part in NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - for the first time, alongside over 300,000 other aspiring authors around the world. The aim is to write 50,000 words of a novel within 30 days.

I was persuaded to sign up for NaNoWriMo last December by bestselling crime fiction author Elizabeth Haynes - this year will be her 10th NaNoWriMo. You can read more about her thoughts and experiences on her blog.

My ultimate dream since childhood has been to write fiction. At university, I obtained a BSc in Biomedical Science, with plans to follow on with a PhD in Forensics and then maybe write crime novels one day. But in the final year of my BSc., I was sidetracked by the idea of a career in journalism. I went on to complete an MSc. in Science Communication, before working for consumer and pharmacy magazines, writing about health. Over the last 20 years, I have also edited health books, magazines and …

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