How Writers Get through National Novel Writing Month

It’s National Novel Writing Month, and writers worldwide are taking the NaNoWriMo challenge: to write 50,000 words (at least) and finally start—and finish—a novel during the month of November. It’s an intensive creative bootcamp, giving you a specific timeframe to do nothing but create. The challenge is just about pushing yourself to complete a manuscript, however you need to do it. Good, bad, awful—it doesn’t matter. The most important word is “finished.” It may sound gimmicky, but it’s a hugely successful initiative. (Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants was written as a NaNoWriMo challenge.)

No matter what type of writer you are—poet, blogger, graphic novelist—these types of challenges keep you on your toes. But they’re also pretty tough. It’s too easy to get distracted, blame writer’s block, or tell yourself you’ll do it later. This type of thinking is what NaNoWriMo is trying to combat. The whole point is to banish excuses, create accountability, and help you cross the finish line. And who better to help you do that than people who have done it themselves?

A key component to the NaNoWriMo challenge is the community of writers (over 300,000 last year) who help provide support, encouragement, tips, and inspiration to each other. To tap into this wealth of knowledge, Stop Procrastinating surveyed 2,000 NaNoWriMo participants to find out how they mastered the challenge. The results, visualized in the infographic below, give insights into everything from what type of technology they use, to what time of day they wrote, to what their daily schedule looked like. It’s an interesting look at how you might master your own creative time, whether you’re under deadline or not.

Check out the infographic below, and if you want more help with your creative endeavors, we have plenty of inspiration for you. See our 3 creative exercises to inspire you, the video game to cure writer’s block, how famous creatives start their projectshow writing affects your brain, rules of storytelling from Pixar, and the recipe for writing success. You really have no excuses.

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