It’s the first week of November, and if you’re like hundreds of other writers around the world you know what that means…you’re six days closer to finishing your next book!

The first week of NaNoWriMo tends to pass by in a whirlwind of excitement and adrenaline, but the key is to stay motivated even after the excitement fades. If you want to write 50,000 words by the end of the month, here are my tips to help you come out a winner!

Make an outline. When you have to write close to 2,000 words every day, you don’t have the time to spend figuring out what should happen next in your novel. The more detailed a plan you have before you start, the better chances you have to not get stuck in the middle of writing.

Tell your friends. Taking on NaNoWriMo is no small undertaking. The more people you tell, the less you have to explain why you’re choosing to stay at home writing instead of going out to dinner/drinks/movies with them. Plus having that extra accountability will keep you pushing toward your end goal.

Make a schedule. Most of us don’t just have extra time in our schedules to spend an hour (or a few hours) a day writing—you’re going to have to make that time. Plan writing into your schedule so that you never have to wonder if or when you’ll have time in a given day to write. Keep things like Thanksgiving, weekend trips you have planned, and any other commitments you can’t push around in mind. There will be a day you absolutely can’t squeeze writing time into, but that doesn’t mean you will fail. Look for less busy days to double up your word counts and keep on track.

Make it fun. If you love the story you’re writing, you are more likely to want to get back into it every day. Don’t write something you think would sell, you think your parents or friends would enjoy, or something you feel obligated to write about. Write for you. Write for fun. Make a cozy and enjoyable routine around writing, whether that means going to your favorite coffee shop for a holiday drink or lighting a candle and writing by your fireplace. When writing becomes your happy place, you’ll want to keep on going even after November is finished.

Are you signed up for NaNoWriMo 2018? Let me know in the comments below!