This past month has been NaNoWriMo. After a lot of dithering around, I finally decided to participate, in the hopes that I’d actually get somewhere with my novel that I started around this time last year.
Well, I got somewhere. Not very far, but somewhere.
That looks so depressing.
I wrote a grand total of 10,557 words. I would say that that’s 10k words more than I’ve written before, but I already had 5k ish, and I actually used most of that, line editing it as I went. So I really only wrote about 5k.
So. I have written a guide to failing NaNoWriMo, because apparently I’m really good at that. If I ever decide to do NaNo again, I’ll look back at this and do the opposite. Or try to, at least.
1. Live in a country with exams in November
This will give you plenty of free time to write, except that you should be spending that free time studying. This will cause enough stress to make you throw everything aside and spend your days on the internet doing nothing.
2. Be an expert procrastinator
If you waste all of your time on useless nothingness, you will definitely not succeed at NaNo. I advise practicing this beforehand, to ensure that you have the skills to avoid everything that is important, including NaNo. DO NOT use NaNo as a procrastination device; this will help you to get words written. If you want to successfully fail NaNo, you must ensure that the procrastination devices you are using will not benefit you in anyway, and completing NaNo doesn’t fall into this category.
3. Get behind on the first day
This causes discouragement and stress, both of which are key to failing. Whatever you do, don’t get ahead. This just makes the ultimate goal of completing NaNo seem more realistic, which we don’t want under any circumstances.
4. Have very few ideas about your novel
Very important. Ideas = a higher word count, and a higher word count = getting closer to winning NaNo. The fewer ideas, the better. Especially if you are a planner. Starting with a clean slate will help you to have no clue what to write, ultimately helping you to fail.
5. Use up all your ideas after 10k
If you happen to have ideas, you need to make sure that you use them up quickly and dry up your mind. If you continue to get new ideas, you will feel the urge to write them down, which will increase your word count. Fewer ideas = lower word count.
6. Try a new writing method
Do you write well using the snowflake method? Then skip that and just start writing. Do you normally start right away? Try the snowflake method. Switch things around, especially if you’ve already successfully written multiple novels using the same method. This will most likely confuse your brain and make it more difficult to achieve your goal.
7. Do everything differently
Like the above point, if you are used to doing things a certain way, and have found success doing it that way, then switch them up. In such a stressful time, this will confuse your brain and make it difficult to adjust. If you write better with others, then write alone, and vice versa. If you write best in silence, then blast the music. Doing things differently will slow productivity.
8. Ignore your novel for a few days
We all need a break at times. I advise taking a five day break (or longer) after the second or third day. This will help you lose all momentum and motivation. Trust me, it worked for me.
9. Spend all of your time on the internet
The more time that you spend on the internet, the less time that you spend writing. If you are going to attempt to fail NaNo, then it is crucial that you distance yourself from the novel, especially if you actually have decent ideas.
10. Don’t have a routine
Be sporadic and random with your writing times. If you get into a routine, you’ll feel obligated to write. If you don’t have a routine that includes writing, you won’t feel as obliged to write.
11. Just don’t write
Avoid it. Don’t open your document or notebook. Completely ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist. The only surefire way to fail NaNo is to stop writing.
There you have it! How to successfully fail NaNoWriMo. You’re welcome.