Yup, it’s almost that time of the year again. In just over two weeks I’m going to be trying to National Novel Writer’s Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge of 50k words of a new novel in one month. I’m actually going to aim for 60k as I’ve done 50k the last two years and want it to remain a challenge.
As such i’m in preparation mode and I thought I’d share some of the things I do to try and get ready for such a momentous task. I’ve found that planning before hand helps to make the task a success.
For the most part I try to avoid social obligations in November. There’s always a few, but I try to see peeps before or just after and this year I’m even taking a week off with my fella (this week in fact) to spend time with each other before I disappear down the writerly rabbit hole. Telling people you are trying not to do too much social during also helps because then they know what you’re doing and you can garner extra motivation from the fact they will ask you how you’re doing and they will know if you fail and have no good reason.
I also make sure most of October is dedicated to doing anything that might get in the way, like other deadlines and other stories that are part finished. The last thing you need is someone nagging you to finish something else. Same goes for the chores. Try to get on top of the washing piles, the cleaning and anything else you don’t want to be distracted by when you’re writing (I’ve even heard that some people do their christmas shopping so they don’t leave it too late but I just do mine in December).
Also I try to minimise the things that might call to me to procrastinate, like games, books and other entertainment. I won’t start a new series of anything on tv in October, unless it’s going to be mostly over in november or I really can’t watch it at a later date. I also won’t buy any new games unless I know I can finish them before November. I won’t activate any subscriptions to any MMO’s and I try to get my final book in October read before the start of the month, especially if I’m enjoying it. (If NaNo goes really well I start allowing myself some downtime with these things again but usually only books and I’m very disciplined on the time I allow myself)
Finally the day or two before I take off from everything but thinking over the plot for the books and writing plot notes on anything I think I really have to add. As my book will also be a sequel I’ll also read the rest of the books in the series to get myself immersed in the world and characters again and think over the first line. Sometimes it takes me ages to write that first line so if I’ve already spent hours thinking on it when I get up on the 1st I can just sit down and write the line I’ve already partially worked out.