That month is just around the corner, again. Put everything aside and just write they say. You’ll have a manuscript at the end of it they say. Just 1667 words a day. Easy peasy.
For professional procrastinators like me it is a month of guilt-ridden torture as I mash several thousand words out in a week or so and then hang my head in despair for the rest of November.
But, after five years running of this masochistic self-torture, I feel I have picked up a few tips that could help others to prepare a winning entry.
- Invest in an IV drip – Save yourself all those wasted hours watching the kettle boil and inject your tea straight into your system. That’s 200 words added to your daily count straight off.
- Lock the front door and hide your keys – Now the fire department would strongly oppose this tactic but they haven’t felt the pressure of a 50K deadline in just 30 days. It takes a special kind of someone not to leave it all behind and go down the pub. Or go out to work.
- Bulk buy your supplies in advance – Nothing will drain your writing time faster than a trip to the shop to buy another notebook or a pen. Get online and have your home office supplies delivered straight to your door. Trust me, nothing makes you feel inspired to write better than receiving a giant delivery of notebooks, folders, tiny little bulldog clips and large packs of pens. A warning against buying paperclips, I did and the container opened during transit, those things were everywhere!
- Put your mobile phone on a boil wash – This will ensure a distraction-free month. No amount of rice will fix a phone that’s been around the washing machine … believe me.
- Write about something you like – Writing at this kind of speed isn’t going to produce your best work, let’s be honest. So have some fun and write something you will enjoy writing, not something you think someone else wants to read. You’ll be far too embarrassed to show this draft to anyone anyway!
To everyone out there attempting Nano this year … good luck!