No, not Halloween, though that's cool. Not pre-Turkey Day or pre-pre-whatever wintry holiday is on your calendar. I'm talking about NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.
'Tis the season for writing hundreds and thousands of words each day. It is a serious challenge - there's a reason we only do this once a year - but it does have a purpose. Getting ready for the challenge is only the first step, but it is an important step.
Why Should You NaNo?Having a writing challenge is a great way to push through a writing slump. Or to get that first novel finished. Or get the latest novel finished. Or to get another work done for your backlist. Whatever the WIP, the result is the same - you have a built-in challenge and support system for getting it done.
And the support system is great. Even if you aren't writing a novel. You can find a group in the forums who write poems, comics/graphic novels, screenplays. You can find people who are writing children's books, novellas, collections of short stories.
If you are a student, there's a group for that. If you are a parent, there's a group for that. If you are an older author, there's a group for that. If you are a young author, there's a group for that.
Prefer tea over coffee for your liquid stimulant? Group. Want to write a western fantasy? Group. Live in Antarctica? Group.
Any issue you might have with time, with life, with plot or characterization, you can find others who are going through something similar. So get your writing on and join me!
NaNo PrepWhether you are a pantser or a planner (like me), you might need to do some NaNo Prep. It could be getting the title and general idea nailed down in your head. It could be a full outline.
Here are some other ideas:
- Research for that historical or other setting you have in mind.
- Plan a murder... you know, that one in your story.
- Get some snackies to stash for quick energy when you are in the zone and don't want to stop for lunch/supper/midnight pizza run.
- Make sure you are stocked up on your fav drink.
- Create a vision board with pics of buildings, characters, and/or scenes.
- Make a playlist for your writing.
- Learn how to shut off your computer's internet. Also, the easiest way to mute your phone.
- Plan meals - especially important if you have kids and a hubby who expect you to do stuff during NaNo. Planning meals will streamline grocery shopping, and you'll always know what meat to defrost for supper. #Winning
- Make plans for family events, such as Thanksgiving, before the writing starts.
- Have fun!
Don't forget to enjoy the process! Join groups, get into word sprints, go to write ins, and get that 50k on the paper/screen. This is about achievement, not "doing it right" by someone else's standards.
Just get it written.