By: Shelby Hillers

Feel like you can’t take part in the long writing sessions of National Novel Writing Month? Are you watching your friends write their next Best Seller while you sit by and do nothing? Well here are 11 easy steps to help you be a part of those long nights filled with writing:

How to participate in NaNoWriMo

1.     Open your computer or maybe you’re old school and use a typewriter or pen and paper. Sit down and look like you’re about to get some serious business done.

2.     Crack your neck, back, and hands. Doing that makes you look like you’re in this for the long run—which you are.

3.     Grab some coffee and chug it down. Grimace because it is black coffee but serious writers drink it black these days but now you’re wide awake because that was disgusting coffee but it was worth it.

4.     Stare at your blank page and give it a menacing look. This look should come across as both crazy and slightly serious.

5.     Look around your room. Maybe there’s something that will spark a memory that digs deep into your self-conscious. Write it down. Maybe it was about your childhood pet. Or your best friend. Or that time you made breakfast for your mom. Write it all down with rich detail. Throw in some dialogue. Make your characters come to life with the power of your words.

6.     Take a break because hey, you’re not a robot. You need time to rest up. Walk around your house or wherever you are. Appreciate and notice the small things. You can use those details later on in your story.

7.     Once you’ve walked around a bit, sit back down and write some more. It doesn’t even have to be good. Just write something.

8.     Reread what you wrote. Delete it. Rewrite it. Rewrite it better.

9.     Cry because you’re pretty sure the first version was better anyway.

10.   Write some more. Write about your family. Write about your friends. Write about the places you’ve always wanted to go. Write about love. Write about that time you stayed up all night and saw the sun rise. Write about things that are painful and hard because it’s worth the experience of trying to capture those raw words. Just write.

11.     Hey, look. You’re participating in NaNoWriMo. Congrats. Now go back to writing.

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Shelby Hillers is the Online Editor for BrickHouse Books where she helps manage Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. She is a senior at Towson University majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. She is also the Publicity Director for Grub Street, TU’s Literary Magazine. Her works have been published by The TowerlightLimerence Magazine, and TU Career Center’s co-written blog The Thriving Tiger.

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