NaNoWriMo approacheth

So I grandly and hilariously failed at keeping this blog updated, but with NaNoWriMo once again approaching, I thought I’d better return ever so briefly from the dead aka thesis writing hell. This November, I will be participating in InTheFiSh: International Thesis Finishing Shenanigans (or you can imagine a less savoury Sh word..). The end of my PhD is very near, yet it still seems very far away. Lots of work to keep me occupied, in other words. Yet I’m still crazily considering taking part in NaNoWriMo, ever so slightly, just because it’s been such a wonderful part of my life the last 5 years, and I love it completely. Who knows, it might motivate me to finish my thesis as soon as so I can still take part (though that depends on my supervisors as well).

I’m writing this post however to motivate other people into doing NaNo. I’ve talked before about the essential tools, especially Scrivener (free trial during NaNoWriMo and 50% off if you win!) and the NaNo-community, but today I want to talk about a wonderful book called No Plot No Problem, written by Chris Baty, the founder of National Novel Writing Month. A revised version has recently been released, including a small quote from me (cooool), but aside from my paltry contribution it’s just chockfull of great tips and inspiration during all of the weeks of NaNo. Part 1 is all about the preparations you can take before November starts, and then Part 2 takes you through the experience week by week. If nothing else, it lets you know you’re not alone. And that, when it comes down to it, is the beauty of writing in November, no matter how many words you manage; the feeling that you are not alone.

Regardless of what tools or essential writing foods you stock up on this November, be brave, let the words fly, and whatever you do for heaven’s sake do not edit! Good luck everyone!

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Raring to go

It’s almost here! November starts tomorrow! I apologise in advance for updating this blog less frequently, but the actual writing must come first. My goal this year, as always, is 60k or a completed first draft, whichever seems more feasible. Since I’ll be writing with a lot more of social life than usual, I am not as confident as previous years that I’ll actually be able to pull it off, but we’ll see..

Last minute tips:

– I know I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but please check out the NaNo-forums for support, random plots/characters/challenges, and procrastination celebration.

– Follow NaNoWriMo on twitter, or even better the NaNoSprints account, to stay updated and to get some sprinting action going. It’s amazing the things that writing fast for a couple of minutes can produce (personally I prefer to still write legibly but do whatever works for you).

Write Or Die. This website/software helps you to keep writing by either making it impossible for you to go back and edit, or (in hardcore mode) eating your words if you don’t keep writing! Fun times.

– Glow sticks! If you’re looking for something that takes a little longer than the word sprints, one thing to do is crack a glow stick and keep writing until it stops working. Warning: don’t do this with a really good glow stick, as it will keep going for days! =P

– Remember to take a break! Go out for a walk, take a shower, go out with your friends.. Give your brain a chance to recover. Can’t live on words alone, much as I’d love to.

I’m rooting for all of you taking part! Enjoy!