Struggling with NaNoWriMo? Resources to Help Writers

bust-writers-blockWe’re a few days into NaNoWriMo, the month where writers around the world commit to writing a novel (or a 50,000 word draft) in one month.

I’ve done it in the past, and I was always impressed with how much writing I could get done when I put my mind to it.

Some of you are probably sailing along, writing 1,500-2,500 words each day, depending on whether your writing weeks are 5 days or 7 days.

If you’re struggling, though, take a little time out to review these resources to help you get going so you can write 50,000 words this month.

I know it seems silly to get away from the keyboard when you need to be writing to hit that goal, but I promise, some time away to get inspired will help.

Book: The Mental Game of Writing by James Scott Bell

Your brain is amazing, but it’s also probably your biggest obstacle to writing fast and well. Bell’s book is a fast read and it will inspire you to get out of your own way. Seriously, I read it in about an hour and half, on a flight to Vegas.

For NaNoWriMo, I’d suggest reading the chapters on Courage, Creativity, Expectations, Envy, Speed, and Inspiration.

Book: Bird By Bird By Anne Lamott

Another fast read that I devoured on an airplane, this book is known far and wide for giving you permission to write shitty first drafts. (This makes it sound like I travel a lot, but I don’t. It just happens to be when I can sit back and focus on a book about writing.)

Tip: Read a chapter in your favorite novel

It doesn’t matter what genre you’re writing in, taking time away from the page and consuming great writing can help recharge your brain and help you feel more creative. But limit yourself to a chapter, or you might spend all of your writing time re-reading a great book. (You can read it in December, I promise.)

Ebook: 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster by Linda Formichelli and Carol Tice

This book is the edited version of a podcast Carol and Linda offered about writing faster. As freelance writers, they have had to write fast to earn well — if they don’t hit their income targets, their families don’t eat.

And fiction writers can learn a lot from freelancers for whom speed is key.

Blog post: “7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block” by Chuck Sambuchino

This post on the Writer’s Digest blog offers great tips for getting out of your own way and busting through a block — some are writing related, but most aren’t, and that’s what makes them successful.

What have been your favorite books, blog posts, and other tips to bust writer’s block? Tell us in the comment below.

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