How to Survive Your Word Count: Expert Level

This is the third post in a four-part NaNoWriMo blog series.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is in full swing, and writers are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are others, however, who are barely crawling their way toward that light, struggling to survive the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month. If you are one of those writers, have no fear! We at the University of North Georgia Press are here to lend a helping a hand. Here are ten tips  to help beat that writer’s block and nudge you closer to the finish line!

1. Take a break from writing.

Let’s face it: sitting down and continuously writing upon hours on end can be straining, especially on your imagination and creativity. So, take a step away from what you’re writing and do something fun!

2. Move your body.

Moving around increases blood flow, including the blood flow to your brain. This can help open your mind, and when you return to your writing, you are more likely to feel refreshed and be more creative. Your joints will thank you if you move every thirty minutes or so.

3. Get rid of distractions.

It’s hard to focus when you have notifications or conversations buzzing around you, so go somewhere you can easily focus. It could be in your room, maybe even your car. Go somewhere you can separate yourself from the world, so that it’s just you and your writing.

4. Read inspiring quotes.

Writing for hours and days can become exhausting, which can cause you to become unmotivated or uninspired. No worries! One of the best ways you can overcome this is by reading inspirational quotes. You may even find inspirational quotes from some of your favorite authors .

5. Free write.

You might’ve choked up a bit when you read this one. You’re already writing 50,000+ words, and one solution is to write more? As crazy as it seems, yes! Write about anything that doesn’t pertain to your writing. This can help clear you mind, acting as a cleansing palate.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

You are your own harshest critic, so keep in mind that everything that you write doesn’t have to be perfect. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and gain constructive criticism from your readers and learn from it. You will be a better writer because of it.

7. Use the Cube or Webbing method.

One challenge that writers face is smoothly connecting plots of the stories together. Another challenge is describing a situation in the story. Don’t fret because the Cube and Webbing methods can solve both issues! If you are not familiar with these methods, read about them here.

8. Read your favorite book.

Reading books from some of your favorite authors can not only give you a break from your writing, but it can also remind you why writing is so fun. Let your favorite authors influence or inspire your writing structure or style.

9. Create a loose schedule to follow.

When you create deadlines or goals for yourself, you are more likely to be motivated to complete them. It also helps break up the 1,667 daily-word goal into smaller pieces, making it seem less threatening and easier to conquer.

10. Reward yourself.

Writing can be very challenging, and writing over 50,000 words in a single month adds to it. Be sure to reward yourself from time to time! After you complete a small goal you set for yourself, do something you enjoy. Eat a cookie, watch a movie, dance around, and indulge a little. Celebrate your accomplishments because you deserve it!

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