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Hints and Tips: Second Year Wrimos!

Do you love NaNoWriMo? Clearly, because you’re reading this!

I Love NaNoWriMo

(Okay so my donor gifts arrived on Friday and I love the halo bracelet a little too much. So, naturally I spent time trying to take a photograph of it on my arm…)

Hello Second Year-ers! So, you’re back for more, eh?


(If you’re a first timer: click here.)

Whatever happened last year, you’ve made the brilliant decision to go for it again. Whether you reached 50K or not last year, you still achieved something great, something special and spectacular. You’ve likely made friends – either online or in person. And why wouldn’t you want to repeat that?

And then you’ve found yourself hooked. (After 10 years, I’m feeling there should be a NaNoWriMo Anonymous.) September rolls round and there’s that nagging feeling inside that you should be doing something. And it’s nothing to do with Christmas. Oh yes, the seeds of NaNo are sowed early.

So, second year hints and tips:

You may find your second year harder. Don’t look at me that way, I’m serious. But if you’ve done it before, why is it harder? It’s harder precisely because you’ve done it before. Suddenly, you have something to be compared too. I’m certainly not suggesting you ever compare yourself to even your own previous word count as you are a winner no matter what, but subconsciously, you’ll still do it. And somehow knowing what you’re getting yourself into is harder than not understand it at all.

Don’t compare yourself to last year. I pretty much covered this with the above point. So, whatever you got last year, was last year. Ignore it. It’s gone. Concentrate on this year. (And I realise the new NaNo site is showing everyone’s novel and word count and stuff from last year. It’s cool. You don’t have to look at it.)

Give advice. I know you’re reading advice, but you have a year’s experience under your belt, now. So, give advice to newbies. They will appreciate it and you’ll get the thrill of passing on your experience to people who have yet to know the excitement of NaNoWriMo.

Take on a mentee. Why not go one step further than advice giving? Go browse the Find a Mentee and Find a Mentor threads over in the Newbies section and give someone one on one advice and encouragement! I’ve been mentoring for the last few years and it’s awesome! And what’s more, you have someone completely new to the process who you can bounce ideas off two.

Learn from last year. I know it’s a cliché “learn from your mistakes”, but I’m serious. Did you skip a few days in the middle of November to “rest” and ended up frantically rushing at the last minute? Did you decide to “pants” it and found yourself flailing? Or, maybe the other way round – did you plan carefully only to discovered that following the plan was a nightmare? Remember what you did / didn’t do, and use that knowledge to help you this year.

Have fun. You had fun last year, make sure you have fun this year!

You’re not newbies anymore, second years! You are now experienced Wrimos. So, get out there, tuck another year comfortably under your belt and give the newbies of 2012 the support you had last year. Believe me, it’s a great feeling.

Keep writing, Wrimos!

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