7 Tips On How To Win NaNoWriMo This Year, As Told By A Previous Winner

7 Tips On How To Win NaNoWriMo This Year, As Told By A Previous Winner

A few notes from a 2011 winner.

As Halloween draws closer and closer, writers across the world are taking their last breath of fresh air for the next thirty days. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) begins this week and asks a simple task of its participants: write a 50,000-word novel in one month.

It may sound like an impossible feat, but as someone who completed November 2011 with a fresh novel, I can confirm that it is very doable, as long as you keep to a few simple rules.

1. Plan ahead

You don't need a full outline of your story, because you'll most likely stray from it throughout the month, but you need a general idea of where you're going to start and where you're heading. Think of it more like a list of checkpoints, places the story needs to go that you can work toward every day. If you go in blind, you risk finding yourself lost halfway through the month.

2. Be prepared to change that plan

Any writer knows that the characters don't always listen to you. You don't have enough time to question why the story wants to change, so be spontaneous and let the story go where it needs to. New ideas are going to hit you throughout the month, so rather than avoid them out of a fear of losing track of your original plotline and wishing you could go back, find a place for them and explore.

3. Schedule your writing

Don't assume you'll find the time to write every day. You need to have a time in mind when you'll be able to sit down and write. It doesn't have to be a specific number on the clock every day. It can just be "after dinner" or "after I finish this homework" or "after I make this phone call." Just know when you're going to write by the end of the day.

4. Don't edit as you write

It can take me ages to write a paragraph because I'm constantly editing myself as I go, but NaNoWriMo moves too quickly to reword as you write. Get everything down on the page, and if you meet the 1,666 word goal for the day and really need to fix something, then you can take the time to go back and edit. You always have the end of the month to edit, too.

5. If you get stuck, skip ahead

Writer's block seems to thrive right when you need to write most. If it hits during NaNoWriMo, skip the scene you're writing. Jump forward to another checkpoint that you know you can write. Write a scene you're excited to get to. The most important thing to remember is to just keep moving.

6. Update your NaNoWriMo profile often

Some don't use NaNoWriMo's website to track their progress, but making a free account there can be worth it. Seeing the graph on your profile take a step up every day as you update your word count will make you feel good and inspire you to keep it ticking.

7. Get your friends to join you

The only year every one of my friends finished NaNoWriMo was the year we all decided to complete it together. While completing your novel will feel good, it will feel even better to beat your friends. Tracking your progress against others will inspire you to keep going. It doesn't even need to be people you know in real life, it could be other writers in your town's NaNoWriMo community, or just other people online. You can even add me to your buddies over here.

I'll see you at the end of November.

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20 Disney Channel Original Movies That You HAD To See As Soon As It Came Out

You know you still have a soft spot for #11.

My friends and I were having a movie night and like many other movie nights before we couldn't decide on what we should watch. We scrolled through Netflix for what seemed like forever until I remembered that I had some Disney Channel Original Movies through an app my Dad set up. This opened up a whole new ball game because we all grew up watching these movies. I got to the app and started looking at all of them.

My friends and I were reminiscing about the movies we had seen when we were younger.

To people that may not know, a Disney Channel Original Movie (or DCOM for short), is a movie that was aired on Disney Channel and was not ever in a theater. Here is a list of the top DCOMs.

1. "Double Teamed" (2002)

Who doesn't love twin girl athletes originally wanting to do different things but both ending up playing basketball?

2. "Right On Track" (2003)

A sister movie where they are trying to be better than each other at racing. There's nothing wrong with some sibling competition is there?

3. "Quints" (2000)

After this movie, I was definitely glad I didn't have any younger siblings, especially not five.

4. "Cadet Kelly" (2002)

Cadet Kelly wanted me to join a military school; however, I know I definitely wouldn't have survived.

5. "Pixel Perfect" (2004)

Making a robot girl that is practically perfect? Yes, please! This movie also inspired me to want to learn how to do a one-handed cartwheel, which I did.

6. "The Cheetah Girls" (2003)

Every young girl and her friends would sing along to these songs and pretend to be them. And let's be real, the other two weren't as amazing as the first, especially after Raven, left.

7. "The Zenon Trilogy" (1999, 2001 & 2004)

Who didn't want to live in space after watching these movies?

8. "You Wish!" (2003)

I definitely know I wanted to wish on a lucky coin that I didn't have any siblings, but after this movie, I'm very glad I never did in case it actually came true.

9. "Starstruck" (2010)

It's every girl's dream to fall in love with a dreamy poster, and the song "Something About the Sunshine" is so catchy, and I have it on a Spotify playlist and have no regrets about jamming to it in the car.

10. "Twitches/Twitches Too" (2005 & 2007)

I definitely wanted a twin that was also a witch after watches these movies.

11. "High School Musical 1 and 2" (2006 & 2007)

These don't need explaining. If you haven't seen them or at least heard about them, then you probably live under a rock. I just wish high school was really like this. Also, "High School Musical 3" was also amazing but did not make the list because it was technically not a DCOM since it was released in theaters.

12. "Lemonade Mouth" (2011)

This one is pretty new, but it made me want to get detention to potentially meet my future bandmates even though I have no musical abilities.

13. "Gotta Kick It Up!" (2002)

If this movie didn't have you shouting "Si se Puede!" then you didn't appreciate it enough.

14. "Get A Clue" (2002)

This made me want to be a spy more than I already wanted to be one as a child. Solving crimes with your best friends sounded like a very great time.

15. "Smart House" (1999)

Winning a house that could talk to you and listen to what you told it? Seems like a dream come true, until the house gets a little too attached.

16. "Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off" (2003)

Baseball or cooking? Waiting to see what Eddie chose was a nail-biter.

17. "Camp Rock 1 & 2" (2008 & 2010)

A movie with songs that made you get up and dance and want to go to summer camp.

18. "Descendants 1 & 2" (2015 & 2017)

These movies are really new so, not many people that are over the age of 10 have heard of them, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. They have really catchy songs even if they are pretty cheesy.

19. "Jump In!" (2007)

Who doesn't love Corbin Bleu jumping rope?

20. "Stuck In The Suburbs" (2004)

Another movie where a teenager gets befriends a dreamy pop star. Come on why couldn't that happen in real life? I'd totally be down to be best friends with Justin Bieber. DCOMs will always have a special place in my heart.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Poems On Odyssey: "Stages"

As life moves through its stages.


I see it now.

I see that there is a distinction,

A difference,

Between the present.

Between the future.

Between the past.

We roam through the present,

Making the most of each day,

Living life to the fullest of capacities.

We aspire and discourage.

We succeed and we fail.

We love.

We hate.

We dream of the future,

Hoping to achieve our goals,

To exceed the expectations and break the stereotypes.

We imagine and dread.

We wish and obsess.

We accept.

We fear.

Yet, we live in the past,

Reminiscing on the best of times,

Wishing that we could relive those moments.

We have no choice but to remember the worst of times,

As old memories are forced to the back of the brain,

Crammed inside of a dusty storage box,

Exactly where we hope they will remain,

Until we are ready to revisit them.

That is,

If we are ever ready to revisit them.

We pray to remember,

We pray to forget,

As life moves through its stages.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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