For the past 2 years, every November I have looked forward to one of my biggest personal goals: NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo is an online contest for writers which challenges them to write a 50 000 word novel within a month. Although I’ve never completed it, I’ve always enjoyed the rush of trying to write around 2000 words a day. Now that I’m at university, I know the challenge will be even more daunting, but I still want to write as much as I can.
What worries me most is simply juggling class, work, council, clubs/events and writing. In past years, my inability to stay organised has been one of the main reasons I couldn’t complete this challenge.
On the other hand, I also have found 2 to keep myself motivated throughout the month:
1) Writing buddies
Last year, I discovered that it’s a lot easier to power through over 500 words in 30 minutes when you’re in a race against someone else than just if you’re free to let your mind wander. The pressure and my desire to win had me completely focused on the task at hand instead of fixating on small grammatical errors and rethinking my sentences.
This year, I’ll also have friends I know in person participating and not just people I’d randomly challenge on Tumblr. So, not only do I get the competitive edge, but I also have people around me who will understand the struggle I’m going through (I’m looking at you Zoë, and you too Rowan, even if you are new to NaNo).
2) Counting all my writing projects
Some may see this as cheating, however I never enter NaNoWriMo for the prizes. For me, it’s a motivation to write as much as I can and actually put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard?). As such, I enjoy counting in my essays, blog posts and any other long piece of writing I decide to do. Not only does it motivate me to write, but by counting my essays it means I finish them faster, sooner and can perfect them afterwards. Basically I cheat on word count so I don’t become a hermit who forgets about school.
In the midst of this writing insanity, this week will also be my first week working in the GCSU office, the GCSU Annual General Meeting as well as Fall Campus Day! No matter how empty my calendar seem at times, I’ve realised that even in the empty moments, something ends up happening. Next step, learn how to stick to a daily plan!