From the Archives: “6 Ways to Keep Up the NanoWriMo Momentum”

Welcome back to our Tuesday segment, where we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular posts from the last few years.  What’s stayed the same?  And what’s changed?  We’ll be updating you on the facts, and taking a new (and hopefully refreshing) angle on a few timeless classics of Self Publishing Advisor.


[ Originally posted: November 5th, 2012 ]

The first few days of NanoWriMo are now behind you. If you are like most writers, you probably started out enthusiastically and determined to reach your goal, but as the days go by, you may start to lose motivation and focus. You are not alone. If you want to ensure that you finish the first draft during NanoWriMo, consider these six tips.

1. Accept that it won’t be perfect. NanoWriMo more is about writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, but no  one ever said it has to be a perfect, ready to publish novel. This is a first draft, and like all first drafts, it will need work later. Right now, focus on finishing the 50,000 words. You can go back and make changes after the challenge.

2. Set daily goals. It can be overwhelming to think about writing 50,000 words in a month. Instead, focus on how many words you will write each day or during each writing session. This will help you break up the project into manageable steps and will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

3. Check out Write or Die. This is great software for self-publishing authors who are struggling to meet their goals. This creative software lets you enter a time or word count goal, and encourages you to accomplish it without letting your inner editor take over. After you’ve meet your goal, you’re praised by the sound of trumpets.

4. Turn off the internet! Email and social media sites are major time-suckers that distract from your writing. During writing sessions, do not let yourself use the internet. If you can’t resist the urge, consider software that blocks the internet during your writing sessions.

5. Set a timer. Instead of focusing on word count, let yourself freely write for a set period of time, but don’t focus on the time. Instead, set a timer and forget about it. Write without interruption until that timer goes off. Then, take a break before writing again.

6. Become a morning person. Writing in the morning is great because the stresses and excitements of the day haven’t taken over yet. Your mind is clearest in the morning, and there are fewer distractions. Some writers like to wake up early and write until their brains get tired. Then, they allow themselves to enjoy the rest of the day however they wish. If you find that you’re having a hard time completing your writing goals because your to-do list grows throughout the day, writing in the morning may be the perfect solution.

I’d love to know, what are you doing to keep the writing momentum going?

– by Wendy Statina

nanowrimo 2016

50,000 words.

Let that sink in for a minute:

50,000 words!

(That’s a lot of words.)

There are so many pitfalls awaiting the eager author, whether participating in NaNoWriMo or just slaving away at the mines on some other project outside of the NaNo-verse, and a lot of the advice you’re going to read out there about how to move past Writer’s Block and so forth is going to sound canned. At this point in your journey, you’re past the point where trite pep talks land with any sort of impact; you know what works for you and what doesn’t, and looking to others for insight just strikes you as … derivative. Everybody’s doing it, and that kind of takes away from its power.

Or does it?

I would caution our readers here at SPA from becoming disenchanted the way I have become disenchanted after so many years, and so many writing marathons. I caution against this because, ultimately, losing hope is the only thing that will truly ruin your November—losing faith that you can do it, and that there’s wisdom to be picked up from those others who have passed through this process.

And while I would be the first to admit that any list, including our old list of ideas from 2012, is bound to be incomplete … well, I would also be the first to stand by the efficacy of the points contained therein, the points tested and verified by the experiences of so many authors.

Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! And don’t lose your faith in others … as well as yourself.

You’ve got this, dear reader. You’ve got this.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them.  Drop me a line in the comments section below and I’ll respond as quickly as I can.  ♠


ABOUT 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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