Seven Ways to Make NaNoWriMo More Enjoyable

I am so proud of all the self-publishing authors who are beginning the NaNoWriMo challenge TOMORROW! It takes courage and dedication to commit to writing a book, especially when your timeline is only 30 days. To make the task easier, it is important to stay organized and focused. Here are seven tips to make the NaNoWriMo experience more enjoyable for all self-publishing authors.

1. Get in the “write” mindset. Before you begin each writing session, prepare yourself mentally. Everyone has a different approach that works for them. If you aren’t sure what is best for you, try different tactics. Some ideas include reading a few pages written by one of your favorite authors, listening to inspiring music, or doing a few yoga poses. The goal is to clear your  mind and get focused on your book.

2. Create a schedule and write it on the calendar. Decide exactly when and where you will write, and make sure friends and family know when you’ll be unavailable. You may have to pass on a few social events this month to fit in extra writing time. If you do have events you have to attend, schedule writing time elsewhere during that day.

3. Don’t forget about your outline. While your story may morph into something you didn’t expect, it is a good idea to keep the outline you created prior to NaNoWriMo on hand at all times. It is your road map to finishing your book and will keep you from getting off course. There will be time to make changes to your manuscript after NaNoWriMo has ended. For now, your goal is to finish the manuscript.

4. Keep an idea notebook with you at all times. As you write your story,  you may think of ideas for later chapters. Be sure to have a spot where you can joint down any ideas that come to mind. It is a good idea to keep this notebook with you even when you aren’t writing. Sometimes the best ideas appear when you aren’t working on your book at all.

5. Give yourself a break. Writing a book in a month is time-consuming. This is not the month to hold yourself to unrealistic expectations. It is okay to order take-out for dinner, accept your mother-in-law’s offer to switch your laundry, and let the kids watch an extra hour (or two) of TV. For now, focus all of your energy on your book.

6. Get moving. Sitting at a computer all day is tough on your body, so be sure to schedule in some time to exercise. Go a for a short walk, or do some stretches. Not only is it good for your body, but exercise can else help clear your mind and break through writer’s block.

7. Reward yourself. When you reach your writing goals each day, acknowledge your success and reward yourself. Treat yourself to a bubble bath, ice cream sundae, or other special reward. You deserve it.

Writing a book can be challenging, so you need to have a plan, be surrounded by supportive people, and take care of your mind and body. Doing so will help you stay on track and focus on your book. It is when we let ourselves become overwhelmed and exhausted that we aren’t able to stay organized and successfully finish our manuscripts.

I’d love to know, how do you plan to make NaNoWriMo more enjoyable?

KellyABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog,

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