Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Unsolicited NaNo Advice

I feel uniquely qualified in offering up unsolicited advice for all of you intrepid NaNo’ers out there. First, I’ve ‘won’ NaNo, so I have a good idea of what it takes to complete this Herculean task. Second, I’ve lost NaNo, too, so I feel quite confident to call myself an expert. I’ve also been known to dispense NaNo advice in the past (I think this post is particularly good if you really need it after we’re done here today), so there you are. Anyway, here we go:

As you go forth on your NaNo journey, remember that there are more ways to win than pumping out 50,000 words in 30 days, and that you can lose NaNo by not meeting the goal, yet still win. It’s all in the journey and what you learn from it. So while you’re mainlining your coffee or Mountain Dew or green tea and plugging in your daily word count to watch the histogram rise, keep in mind there’s a bigger prize at stake than a novel in a month.

Wasn’t that simple? Have a great weekend, everyone!

15 Responses

  1. Good advice! I'm doing a modified version of NaNo–I just write for 25 minutes a day. No more, no less. It works for me, because I find that when I have to meet a certain page number or word count a day I get stressed out and end up padding my word count and writing paragraphs that serve no purpose.

  2. Whether I and other NaNo'ers win or lose as far as the word-count is concerned, I think it's a great experience to have had, which is one of the reasons I decided to do it this year! Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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