Wow! I got Freshly Pressed! That was pretty intense for a while. I think I had 1200 hits in just over 28 hours – and yes I did stay up all night to watch the comments flowing into my inbox. I know it’s a little sad but I’ve never been popular before (aaahhh!) so I thought I’d milk it.
I’m still not sure how it happened, it was only my third or fourth blog. I’d love to say it was my amazing writing skills, but I have a feeling it was down to luck, timing, a picture of a pretty girl showing her petticoat (sorry, that wasn’t me, I don’t wear skirts let alone petticoats), and a very nice lady called Michelle from the WordPress Editing team.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who followed me and commented during the last couple of days. Although I may hate you all come December, because it’s your fault I’m going ahead with this madcap NaNoWriMo thing! Which brings me to the point of this blog: I thought I’d share the best of the tips and tricks people sent me (plus a couple of my own suggestions). So if you’re doing NaNo this year, I hope some of this will be useful:
1. My favourite tip is from Ursa Bowers: she suggests you break your day’s writing into three 45 minute chunks – 800 words per chunk. This way anyone can fit NaNo in, even if (like me) you have a job, a husband, some children, a mother-in-law and a dog. Thank you, Ursa!
2. According to Matt_S_Law, NaNo should take precedence over everything. His pearl of wisdom is: don’t bathe.
3. From JackieP: Don’t try to edit, just write write write.
4. This one’s my own, I first mentioned it in a comment on Linda Thorlakson’s blog: Don’t stop to research, instead write it into your story, and pick it up in December. For instance:
“It’s like 1076 and the Battle of Hastings,” said Harry.
“Are you sure that’s the right date?” asked Jellyhead
“No, but this is NaNoWriMo and the author has better things to do than worry about petty details right now. Don’t worry though, she’ll find this note in December and sort it all out then (although a decent education would have saved her the bother).”
“Fair point, Harry. While she’s at it, do you think she might take some time to reconsider her decision to call me Jellyhead Wobblebonce? I really don’t think it suits me.”
This way you avoid the ‘I must research this’ trap and increase your word count at the same time!
5. Send your family on holiday. This one backfired on me a little. They have gone on holiday, all of them – even the mother in law and the dog – but they’ve decided to come back early. On Thursday. Yes, Thursday 1st November.
6. The final tip is: Limber up – don’t spend the rest of October on the internet or reading boring blogs like this. Get writing! That’s what I’m doing – honest! I just wrote 590 words in 30 minutes!* Admittedly most of it’s rubbish and the rest was written by other people, but it’s nearly November which means it’s all about the word count.
I’m elappleby on NaNoWriMo, feel free to share your NaNoName here, or come and find me on the NaNo site and be my buddy (I don’t actually know what that means but I’m assuming it’s friendly – we don’t have ‘buddies’ in England, we have ‘mates’ – unless we’re posh in which case we have ‘acquaintances’.)
*(OK – I confess – it may have taken only 30 minutes to write but it was at least another hour to get it ready to publish!)