NaNoGameOn: Time To Limber Up (A follow up to NaNoDreamOn)

(this isn’t me either, it’s a bloke limbering up)
Photo credit: Sami Taipale / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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.

Photo credit: prashant_zi / Foter / CC BY-NC

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!)

25 thoughts on “NaNoGameOn: Time To Limber Up (A follow up to NaNoDreamOn)

  1. I won’t waste more than a few of the precious seconds you’ll need for the upcoming month of sleeplessness, so I’ll just say, good luck and keep typing!!!


  2. Woo Hoo! Another one to add to my buddy list! (I’m rainbear) Counting down the hours until I can start writing. I have no idea what I’m going to write but do have a general idea of what to write about. I usually come home from work and sit in front of the computer for an hour or two. Weekends and holidays I spend most of my time in front of the computer. I’m fortunate, because my partner gladly takes up the slack for me, brings me dinner after he cooks it – I am so lucky!!


    • Wow, you got one that cooks? How did you manage that? Mine does beans on toast (or beans on toast with curry powder if it’s a special occasion – and yes, it is as bad as it sounds). Luckily I’ve trained my (11 year old) son a lot better than my mother in law trained hers and he’s agreed to step in and do some cooking. Best of luck. See you in NaNoLand


  3. I just added you as a writing buddy. I’m going to do NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. Wish me/us luck!


  4. Great suggestions! Though I think I’ll keep bathing, I’m all for trying number 3. Time to abandon perfectionism in the interest of success! i am doing NaNo this year (My third one!) …Unfortunately I’m not sure what my username is/how to change it or how to find people…. okay, so I’m a little internet-challenged, but please come check out my blog! There are sure to be lots of upcoming NaNo posts!


    • I think the NaNo site is a bit tricky (and very slow!). As I understand it, there’s only a team of 8 people behind it, so it’s not surprising. And I totally agree about number 3 – I think the idea behind this is to get used to writing a lot every day, but also, sometimes when you ‘just write’ strange things happen, your fingers take over from your perfectionist brain and (in my case) my fingers tell a much better story than my brain does! I’ve followed you so I can see what your up to – and I’ll buddy you on NaNo too so you’ll have a nice surprise when/ if you find the buddy bit!


  5. I have decided to do NaNo this year, but have misgivings about actually finishing. Which means that I have defeated myself before even starting. How sad is that! But, I will write in the month of November. I have not decided a plot yet. I have an idea that has been rolling in my head for several years, but I’m not sure I want to tackle it at this time. I think I seriously need counseling or something 🙂 I will be your buddy – as soon as I go back to NaNo and figure out how – just so I can be inspired to keep writing as I find your humor inspiring. It reminds me to have fun with this and not take it so seriously. It is just a bunch of words, right? And, If I’m lucky they may actually come to together by the end of the month and resemble a novel. I can’t wait to see what my fingers come up with, because I’m pretty sure my brain is on hiatus. And if you decide to check out my blog, well it is a jumbled mess without a clear direction and most of it quite paltry, but if your lucky some may be pithy (do people still use those words?) Am I the only one who thinks pithy has a better meaning than it sounds like it should? Ok, I’ll leave now. Good luck with NaNo. Did I mention that my husband is working on a dissertation – so he’ll be no help – we will probably starve in November, or worse, eat too many burgers from a certain place. Ok, really leaving now.


    • Love your comments! And you’re so right – it is just a bunch of words (and no one’s going to check what words they are, so you get to choose – you could write random crap on a bad day and beautiful prose on a good one!).
      I have a problem with pithy – it sounds like another word said with a lisp – which is probably why it’s rarely used, maybe you should start a pithy revival club?
      As for starving in November, I’d rather starve than eat my husband’s signature dish (I may have mentioned this already somewhere) baked beans with curry powder. Best of luck with your NaNo – do the buddy thing and we can chat in NaNoLand.


      • “I have a problem with pithy – it sounds like another word said with a lisp” Which is exactly what it sounds like the meaning should be. 🙂 See you in NaNoLand..


  6. I signed up! And I added you as a writing buddy! I’m feeling totally underprepared (even though there is no preparation necessary) and your tips were really helpful. Looking forward to hearing more from you! Best, e.v.


    • Thanks e.v. I reckon underprepared is good. In fact, I pity all the poor suckers who are over-prepared. With their stacks of notes and detailed summaries, they won’t have half the hair-pulling, nail biting, white knuckle ride us underprepared Wrimos are in for! Should be fun!


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