I’ve already completed NaNoWriMo in 2011 and camp NaNoWriMo in 2012, so I would really like to go for the hat trick and do Camp NaNo in July this year (is it July? I think it’s July) I have 13 weeks off this summer so it’s the perfect time to do it again! 1 day ago
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How I did it: I first heard about NaNoWriMo in 2005, when I first became really interested in writing. I'd always scribbled bad poetry in journals and written vignettes in my free time, but was just getting into the idea of writing longer length pieces and novels.
I didn't take part in NaNoWriMo for a few more years, but boy am I glad I did. I signed up on the site in 2007 and subsequently changed emails and usernames fast as I forgot passwords and email addresses each year. But every year I've participated, and every year I've won, and that's because I've got a strategy.
Most people kick off NaNoWriMo in one of two ways - at Midnight, during a Midnight Kickoff, or during the day of November 1st, at their own homes or at other write-ins and events. I've just about got my numbers split, as far as location is concerned - I've done two Midnight Kickoffs and four At-Homes - but how long I write and what I do is always the same. I start directly at Midnight and I write until I feel like I'm going to pass out. I write for hours upon end, often until well after the sun rises. In 2007 I was up until 4AM, and I've pretty much added a half hour to an hour onto that time each year until now. In 2011, I made the trip to Hollywood for the Los Angeles area Kickoff, and I barely made it on time but stayed until well after seven in the morning. This last year, I wrote until 8AM. I slept a little, ate something, and then started again. I devote November First to writing without abandon. I write what comes to mind, I write linearly, and I write fast. I've always been faster than most, ask anyone at write-ins. If I actually give it my all, I obliterate most word counts by sheer speed and awesomeness. I usually don't participate in them for that reason, because I feel bad and certain slower folks have accused me of cheating, but I do enjoy a rousing defeat of all other competitors every once in a while. *grins*
But if I really give it my all that first day, I've been known to cross 21k words on Day One. That's not a ton - there are people who do the entire novel in the first 24 hours, and power to them - but it's a buffer for the rest of the month, for days where I hate myself and my novel and feel utterly repelled by it. For that week-three stretch when I stop writing entirely.
There have been years where this has barely saved me. Last year, I woke up on November 30th and realized I was at 42k, not terribly far from the required 50k, but a good distance. I thought about it - with the work I'd done after November 1st, I'd have only been at 20-22k. But that first day alone had given me almost as many words as the rest of the month.
Just go! The first draft doesn't have to be perfect, and it shouldn't be. Read how I did it… 2 months ago