It’s that time of the year again, when the trees begin the change color and the leaves start to rustle like pages of a book and you know those ghosts are coming to haunt you, because it’s only one month to NaNoWriMo!
For those of you who do not know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is the month of November when writers across the world dedicate themselves to write a novel of at least 50,000 words within 30 days. There is an organization that hosts NaNoWriMo each year with their online website and helps to organize smaller events in local regions and areas for writers to get together, write together, share ideas or just chat! It is such a cool part of the experience because while writing a novel is a fairly isolated endeavor, the online community is really fun and it lets you know that you aren’t alone!
NaNoWriMo is one of my favorite things that happen in the fall and I’ve been doing this for a really long time. I actually started on the YWP (Young Writers Program of NaNoWriMo) when I was in high school and even did ScriptFrenzy back when that was still going on during middle school. I haven’t always been successful each year in reaching my word count goal, but I’ve always had a great time working on my story and novel. And yes, it’s vastly stressful and slightly masochistic for someone like myself who is a stickler for time/dates and getting things done.
So what am I doing writing about November when it’s still October?
It’s #NaNoPrep time! Although people start preparing as early as September, I always find myself more capable of actually starting in October. So what are the things you can do during #NaNoPrep?
1.) Introduce yourself to the community & get involved.
The online website has so many forums where you can introduce yourself to the community. You can also get a writing buddy to check in with throughout the month–share ideas, proofread, and chat with! The forums are a great place to mine for plot ideas, character names, plot twists, and really any sort of resource you would need in order to write a novel. And if you see me there, say hi!
2.) Watch some vides on writing and get inspired!
The online website has some pep talks available there, but some of my own personal favorites are videos available on YouTube:
For those who love a bit of humor and touching truth about promises and care between the author and reader:
For the idea of planning and outlining:
For keeping the magic in your life through the dreary of November:
And if you’re worried about the burden of NaNoWriMo on your social life:
3.) Put together a writing playlist.
I love putting together playlists. It’s one of the most time-consuming things that I do but also so satisfying when I finally put one together for the right mood. Put together some of your favorite, fun, thrilling and inspiring songs that get you pumped for excitement and fun before we switch to the angsty music of November.
4.) Outline your novel!
I love planning. Some people are “pantsers” meaning that they write on the seat of their pants whatever comes up when they sit down. For me, I absolutely cannot. I have to plan ahead. And also because this year I’m working on revising and editing a past piece of writing, it really is a process of organizing scenes and workshopping my own writing and no so much of writing on the fly. If you also love planning, I have a blog post and a video coming up about that next week so stay tuned!