The end of NaNoWriMo is fast approaching. Some of you made your 50,000 word goal a while ago – and for that you are applauded! Many of you have plugged along steadily, maybe writing a little extra every now and then, so you’ll have a little cushioning if something comes up and you can’t write. Or maybe something did get in the way – and you’ve found yourself falling behind.
Maybe even really behind.
We’ve all been there! I know I certainly have. My last couple of NaNoWriMos have been rocky. (Though unfortunately, I decided I couldn’t handle doing it this year.) It’s a discouraging place to be, and I know that at that point I’d toy with the idea of throwing in the towel. And sometimes I did. But NaNo’s not over yet – it’s not too late!
If you’re running behind, there are several different ways you can boost your word count. I’m going to talk about one of the more extreme methods today: The 10k Day.
10,000 words in one day, you say? Impossible. Or at the very least, it’s only something crazy people try to do.
But in reality, it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. No, no. It’s still pretty dang hard – but certainly not impossible. Not even improbable. I’ve done it several times, and I’ve come to share what I’ve learned.
Make the decision. While 10k days are certainly not impossible, they’re not for everyone. Some people are just slow writers, and that’s okay! Or maybe you just don’t have time. You can also consider cutting the word count and half, and doing 5k instead. Everything in this post will still apply.
Either way, you want to be careful not to burn yourself out. If you do that, it’ll make it several times harder to write anything later on, and can end up hurting rather than helping.
Dedicate one full day to the task. This is not really a requirement, but I certainly highly recommend it. Setting aside one full day dedicated solely to writing will make your life much easier, and you’ll have more mental energy to put into it. More time = less stress = more writing.
Start early. Several studies have shown that your most productive hours will be in the morning. So be sure not to procrastinate – start as soon as you can! I’ve found that getting up a couple of hours earlier than I’m used to will give me a jumpstart, and I’ll end up being much more productive later on.
Of course, the trick here it to, you know, actually get up early. Which is super hard. Especially for night owls, which many writers tend to be. But do your best, and make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before!
Develop a system. You want to make sure that you have plenty of steam during the day, so you’ll obviously want to take breaks. Lots of ‘em. But the thing is, it’s easy to lose track of time while on break, and while writing, so if you don’t keep track you could end up with a problem! I recommend finding a timer and using it to develop timed system.
I usually write for about thirty minutes and then take five minute break. Yours could be different, it depends on you. But do take breaks, as not doing so could easily lead to burn out. And when you do take breaks, make sure they’re scheduled – it’s easy to lose track of time!
Turn off your inner editor. Hopefully, since you’re already doing NaNo, you’ve already gotten pretty good at this. But it’s especially important when attempting to write so many words in one day. A good way to do this is to use Write Or Die, an online app that will eat up your writing if you fall behind. Yeah, it’s as awful as it sounds. But it works.
Do Word Wars. Find another writer friend, set a time limit, and whoever writes the most wins! Word Wars are great a boosting wordcount, and they’re also a lot of fun.
Above all, persevere. It’s a lofty goal, and it’s important not to let it overwhelm you. If it starts to, focus only on the next 500 or 1000 words or so. It’ll add up, and you’ll get there eventually!
So, what about you? Have you ever done a 10k day? What did you learn? What’s the most you’ve written in a day? Comment below!