Get as far ahead of the daily target as you can in week 1 while you’re running on adrenaline. Week 2 is tough, and having a good margin will help you enormously.
Turn off the television. If you think you can write in front of the tv you are just kidding yourself.
Treat yourself for reaching goals. Put your favourite chocolate bar, cake, beer, or whatever your vice is, on the table in front of you while you write. Don’t allow yourself to have it until you’ve written your daily word target. It’ll also make your treat taste that much better…
Be strict on yourself. Sit down and tell yourself you will write for 20mins, or 30mins, or an hour.
Actually do it. Turn off the tv, hide from other people and stay off the internet. Write.
Don’t do it alone. Whether you meet up with people in real life, or meet up with people online, just meet up with someone. Make friends, encourage each other, motivate each other, compete against each other. (And most importantly, drink coffee with each other). Compete against your writing buddies. Each day, check the word counts of your writing buddies. Decide whose wordcount you’re going to try and beat, then do it.
Take part in word wars (also known as word sprints.) Either meet up with friends or play with people online. Agree on an amount of time (20 mins, 1 hour, 24 hours) and at the end of that time, see who’s written the most words. Good fun, a great way to make friends and super productive too.
Don’t take more than one day off in a row. NaNoWriMo is full-on, and we all need a break now and again. We also all have a life to live outside of NaNo. Don’t feel guilty about taking the odd day off. But if you make it two days off, it’ll be that much harder to get back into it. Three days, and you’ll really struggle. More days and you’re unlikely to get back to it at all.
Trust your characters. Whether you’re a strict outliner or more of a discovery writer, you can often find your characters rebel; leading your story off in a direction you didn’t expect. Let them explore, you may find out that they have had a better idea than you did! And if your characters do start telling their own story, be glad. It only means that you have written them well, and written them fully, managing to bring them completely to life.
Just keep going. So what if you’re 5,000 words behind? So what if you’re only managing 800 words a day? So what if it’s 11.30pm on November 30th and you’ve only written 30,000 words. Not everyone will hit their 50k target, but that doesn’t mean they’ve failed at all. By carrying on until the end of the month you have achieved an incredible feat no matter what your word count. The only true failure is giving up.