How NaNoWriMo Helps My Mental Health | National Novel Writing Month

For the fourth year in a row, I will be attempting the writing challenge for National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo.

In the month of November, thousands of writers will attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

It’s…kinda bonkers.

I’ve won each year so far, but it took a lot of self-acceptance to get there. This challenge is a mental one, and I’ve found that every year, I learn something significant about how I frame my day-to-day life, the stories I tell in my head, and how I can be too critical of myself.

The best way to conquer NaNoWriMo is to shut off your inner editor. If you spend your day trying to write the perfect page the first time around, you will never reach your word count. It’s hard to let go of the perfectionist tendency to be amazing on the first try, but that’s why we have this beautiful thing called a rough draft.

You could be writing about aliens in one scene and then decide, you know what, I honestly want to write a Western, and then chance the aliens to cowboys in the next scene. And you just plow forward with your book being a Western. You don’t spend two weeks rewriting what you already had. You can edit in December and January: the main point is to prove to yourself that you can write a book!

NaNoWriMo also has shown me that even with a day job and a social life, I can still find time to write. In fact, NaNo makes me schedule my life and it’s FANTASTIC. I do my chores, I workout, I get my life together–all so I can block off some writing time to reach this goal.

In this episode, I talk about how the lessons of NaNoWriMo have crossed over into my life, especially with my anxiety and depression. If you’re writing this month, I send you all my good vibes and best wishes!

Writing Inspiration

The main source – http://www.nanowrimo.org! You can log your word count, make writing buddies, and set yourself writing sprints to help you knock out your daily writing session.

The #amwriting Hashtag

While you’re going to find your kind using the #NaNoWriMo hashtag on Twitter and Insta, the #amwriting hashtag is chock full of writers and authors of all sorts. Encouragement, inspiration, and good spirits are plentiful with your fellow writers here!

Writing Prompts

Sometimes you need outside help to spark your creative mind! There are hundreds of prompt generators and lists online to help guide you in your plot. I like to have a couple of different tools on hand and love this writing prompt deck! The questions are great for journaling, but can also apply to certain characters you’re writing about. Almost like you’re interviewing them!

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Published by Angus Eye Tea Podcast

A weekly podcast about living with anxiety and depression.

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