It’s NaNoWriMo time again. NaNoWriMo is what the kids (of all ages) call National Novel Writing Month – the challenge to write 50,000 words by the end of November. This year, a unique survey of 2,000 NaNoWriMo writers was taken ahead of the 2015 challenge. It discovers their most surprising and usual habits and strategies for success.
The survey, by Stop Procrastinating, asked writers who had undertaken NaNoWriMo at least twice before to reveal their strategies for success. The survey was random and weighted for region using standard national opinion polling methodologies.
Stop Procrastinating is an evidence-based website and blog that provides advice on how to improve productivity. Their survey revealed that respondents were attracted to NaNoWriMo by discipline, focus and the lure of a deadline.
More than 70 percent advised writers to avoid editing as they go along and to use the month as an opportunity to be free from expectation and to write creatively. Editing can come much later.
About the same percentage revealed that the time of day they wrote was crucial to success. About 50 percent wrote in the morning before work, when they felt fresh and creative.
Many got up at 5am, two hours before they usually woke up. Of these, 84 percent said they felt good for rest of the day knowing they had already finished.
Thirty-two percent said they tried to write more than 1,667 words each day to bank some words for less productive days. Eighty-two percent wrote on a computer. And 18 percent said they took time off from work to write.
A whopping 33 percent said respondents continued the habit of writing daily after the end of November.