My First NaNoWriMo

My First NaNoWriMo

Six Tips to Help Writers Survive November

It’s that time of the year again; winter is coming, and with it comes the whirlwind of panic writers have dubbed NaNoWriMo. For those of you who aren’t familiar, NaNoWriMo is an abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, creative writers of all skill levels across the globe aspire to write a 50,000 worded novel by 11:59 pm, Nov. 30th.

The online platform writers sign up on helps them log their word counts and connects them to other NaNoWriMo goers in their regions; regions often hold events called “write-ins”, where everyone in that area participating can get together, socialize, and write!

If this is your first NaNoWriMo experience (like me), here are six tips on how we can both (hopefully) sludge through this crazy time. Let’s go on this journey together.

Pick a story and stick with it.

Even if your story starts out as a Young Adult novel about a girl going through the throes of high school, and morphs into a sci-fi fantasy erotic love memoir of an alien princess on the planet Ugansnorf, stick with it, you freak! You don’t want to lose words on your word count – starting a novel over after making substantial ground is a sure way to not finish on time.

Get connected at write-ins.

Not only will you meet people with similar interests as you, but you’ll meet people who can support you and give you fresh ideas. And help keep you sane. Or at least, people who will go insane with you. It’s nice to know you’re not alone.

Don't edit.

*Writers gasp in the distance; one keels over clutching his heart and actually dies* NaNoWriMo is all about output; you gotta keep in mind that 50,000-word goal while progressing through your story. Editing is what December is for.

Schedule out a time to write.

I am especially guilty of not setting aside specific time to write – it’s a common downfall of the “writer”, or a person who calls themselves a writer, but never writes because it’s not in their schedule. If you want to seriously commit to this extravaganza, you’re going to have to block out some time to give your piece the TLC it needs to survive.

Set a specific daily word count goal.

50,000 words is a hella lot of words, and we only have a month to put them down on paper. It’ll be a lot easier to accomplish if you plan out how many words or pages you need to write a day in order to stay on track.

Adopt a writing buddy.

This person will endure the stress with you; all the writer’s block, the cringing over your spiraling plotlines, everything – you’ll be in it together. Not only that, but this person will keep you accountable, and be the slap in the face you need when you inevitably start slacking.

Good luck fellow writers, and Godspeed.

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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