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#123 Tasha Harrison

123 Harrison Headshot.jpg

Every year November 1 brings the same question to writers: to NaNo or not to NaNo?

Tasha Harrison and I dive in to NaNo 2.0: tips and hacks for writers looking to do more than just bang out 50,000 of a brand new project. Already working on a book? Great. We'll walk you through ways to approach the madness of NaNoWriMo so you come out the other side with something you're proud of.

Here's hoping you're ready for a major jolt of inspiration!

Discussed in Episode 123 with Tasha Harrison:

  • NaNoWriMo revisited: using NaNo for a project you‘re already working on.

  • “What is cheating at NaNoWriMo?”

  • “If you‘re writing your first book, there‘s really no deadline in place.”

  • Using NaNo to provide an external sense of urgency.

  • “I wrote so much garbage just trying to meet the word-count.”

  • Using NaNo to finish something instead of starting something.

  • Writing fluff in order to meet the word-count. Ends up being a waste of time, even if you‘re “doing it right”.

  • “I didn‘t realize that I was going to be so competitive.”
    On needing to hit the public word count.

  • Using the word count to let yourself write “b-sides”, scenes that you‘re not sure will make the final cut, but that do something to flesh out your characters in your own mind.

  • “I don‘t need that scene. Who cares how fucking cute it is.”
    On using an outline to narrow your focus.

  • “Just because you read something from start to finish doesn‘t mean you have to write it that way.”

  • Writing out of order, it‘s okay if you have a strong outline.

  • Critical path method and using it to map out your novel. Also to map out, in the mind of your main character, how they‘d like to reach a certain end.

  • “We tend to do the things that we want to do.”

  • “That‘s logic, but who thinks logically?”

  • Using NaNo to establish or re-establish a proper writing habit.

  • “I don‘t want to hear any of this 5am writers club shit.”

  • “My brain just doesn‘t want to write fiction at 5am.”

  • Time is a flat circle.

  • Pay attention to your body & when it‘s easiest for you to write & when its harder. 

  • “We should all be allowed to take naps.”

  • “Everybody wants a shortcut to the process.”

  • Using NaNo as a crutch instead of figuring out your own process.

  • Accumulating degrees, or classes or X in order to buttress yourself against criticism.

  • “The only way to inoculate yourself against the pain of being judged is to continuously get judged.”

  • Authors stop treating books as precious things.

  • “We don‘t write books just so other people will like them.”

  • Using NaNo as a way to challenge yourself, if you‘re already writing. Instead of to “help” yourself write the same book over & over.

  • Using NaNo as a tool to combat ‚writers block. “Just keep putting the words down, daily as a habit, even if they‘re not the right words”

  • “You can cry for a minute, but move on.”

  • Write through your writers block.

  • Versus outlining: Write the last scene. Write the first scene. Then connect the dots. 

  • “I can fix something that‘s already there.”

  • Revising, don‘t fear it.

  • NaNo helping Tasha stop revising while writing. Don‘t fiddle. Use the word count goal to keep moving forward, knowing you‘ll revise later. 

    This episode sponsored by listeners like you via the Secret Library Podcast Patreon