I’ve done NaNo on and off for most of my adult life. 2019 was the first year I had won. 2020 I won, but it was harder. Then again, what wasn’t harder in 2020? The key that swapped me from failing (though no extra word/creativity are actually a failure) to winning was twofold.
One was word sprints. It’s odd, as someone who was a stubborn pain in the ass to peer pressure as a teenager, being told to write at this time for this duration is really helpful. I think it’s kinda common in creative types that we don’t want to be told to do things, but actually end up finding structure useful to us.
Two was being a rebel. All the years I failed, I tried to write a single book. I would get a few days in and give up. In the years I was successful, I wrote anything. Added chapters to existing books. Started new short stories from word prompts. To put it simply, I worked WITH my brain instead of against it, and that allowed me to add all the words I needed to hit that goal of 50k in one month.
Of course, item two is highly personal. Actually, scratch that, all of writing is highly personal. And all of this advice comes back to what is the most important thing I can ever say on any topic – work WITH what suits you first.
Psst, I’m looking at putting together some short courses this year on getting a book written. Make sure you sign up to my newsletter if you want to hear about them. I’m thinking one specifically for small biz owners, and one along the lines of “get your first draft done”. Probably $50.