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Fast drafting mindset on Day 1 of NaNoWriMo

Today is day 1 of NaNoWriMo.

Which means thousands and thousands of people are setting out on the crazy journey to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.

That’s 1667 words a day.

Which is awesome. Crazy awesome.

Good luck to all the writers. You got this. Buckle in and get to work.

I didn’t plan on doing NaNo this year, partly because I’m 25k into a novel already and partly because I’m juggling a lot of projects right now and didn’t know if I could handle that time commitment.

I was only thinking 30k :p

But I was on my game this morning so I did a nano wordcount before work, to cheer on those who are doing it.

I got 1830 words. It took me five sprints of twenty five minutes a piece, writing with focus, to get there.

You can see it unfold on twitter.

That’s about 2.5 hours, and most of it done in the morning.

A Nano Mindset

For those if you reading and thinking “1700 words a day is insane, matt, I could never do that!”

I hear you.

It does seem scary. Part of the magic of NaNoWriMo is how it teaches you to face that fear.

What practicing novelists learn early on is that half of doing your words every day comes down to mindset.

Everyone has their own take on mindset, but essentially it comes down to this:

  • Keep going
  • It’s good enough
  • You can fix it later

I have a theory that every writer reaches this point in their mindset at some point in the writing of a long project.

The key to winning nano is getting there faster than everyone else.

On day 1, if possible. Abandon perfectionism and just focus on putting one word after the other.

The key to finishing a book at all is just getting to the end of the rough draft. In November every year, that’s what nano is all about.

NaNo provides both community and the structure of a fixed deadline to help you get there.

Take advantage of it if you can!

And as always, fail forward. If you don’t win nano, you still have half a novel in your lap.

Finish it.

Then do it again!

Keep going

Don’t stop here. Let me be your gateway drug.

Here’s some more good advice from writers I admire. Read the threads!