How to get ready for NaNoWriMo

The site has been re-launched. All the old forums have been wiped clean. The Municipal Liaisons have sent out their welcome message and the word count bar has dropped back to zero!

Yes, it can only mean one thing: NaNoWriMo begins in less than one month…How excited am I? Quite.

While I might be dedicating myself to completing last year’s NaNo novel, in order to keep my momentum up I am allowing myself the odd hour here and there to bask in the impending madness of writing a new set of 50,000 words in just 30 days. In order to keep myself just a little bit sane I am preparing in a number of ways.

  • Firstly: I conned my lovely parents into buying my 30th birthday present three months early. As it is, I am now the proud owner of a Google Nexus 7.

I plan to use this to add to my word count in November during my 20 minute train commute into work and back again. Meaning approximately 30 minutes of pure writing time. I discovered last year that if I know what I’m supposed to be writing about I can hash out around 500 words in 15 minutes. That’s almost two thirds of the daily total complete just by taking advantage of the time I typically spend reading the news and staring out of the window.

I’m treating myself to a case with a keyboard built in, so that I can effectively use the Nexus as a net-book type device, and planning to use Google Drive to write the novel in so I have access to it both on-line and off-line.

  • Secondly: Thanks to the lovely Suzanne over at Spilt Hot Chocolate who ran a plot bunny competition, I now have my very own plot bunny to see me through the month of November and remind me to get my daily word count done and provide me inspiration (and potential frustration) for my plot.
  • Thirdly: I’m publicising my intent to take part in NaNoWriMo again this year. I’m telling everyone I can think of: announcing it here, on Facebook, via text, in my emails and telling people face-to-face every opportunity I get. I think everyone is beginning to realise that I will not be pandering to any time wasting activities throughout the month of November. It’s vitally important that all ‘my people’ understand this.
  • Fourthly: I’m creating myself a little hidey-hole with all the necessary accotrouments that I might possibly need during NaNo. Pens, sharpened pencils, note cards, a pin-board with various inspirational quotes and a schedule of my progress, cushions, blankets and big fat jumpers to keep me warm, my favourite mug for tea (that has flask like properties that keep it warm for ages…which I need when I suddenly realise I’ve spent 40m writing and forgotten all about my drink! Which has just happened right now whilst writing this…).
  • Finally: I’ve also started making a list of potential treats. This, I think, is one of the absolute necessities for NaNo – at least for me – in order to ensure that you don’t get bogged down in the seemingly endless repetition of furiously writing every day and suspecting that you’re creating complete drivel. For each day I achieve over the minimum daily word count (1,667) I allocate myself something lovely – be it some chocolate, a twenty minute tug of war contest with my dog, watching my favourite TV show or just fifteen minutes catching up on some sleep – to ensure that my brain understands that something good has just happened.

I also try and have bigger treats for reaching the larger milestones – weekly totals or specific goals: like 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, and 40,000 words…These might be anything from going out for a drink after work with some friends (social contact – what a novelty in November!) to buying myself that journal I coveted at Paperchase.

Then, there’s the BIG ONE. What are you going to do to celebrate when you finally get to that fateful time at the end of November when your word count clicks over to 50,001? It has to be something momentous. Something you’ve been craving for a while. Something that will really indicate to yourself that you’ve made it…

I don’t think I really did this last year – and I became a little disillusioned by the come-down after my triumphant win (see my first December post). Part of the fun this year is trying to decide exactly what it is I’ll do/buy when I win NaNo this year. Currently I have no clue what this might be…but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

What are you going to use as your treats? Any ideas or tips for good daily, weekly or ‘I’ve won NaNo 2012’ rewards?

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4 responses to “How to get ready for NaNoWriMo

  1. Pingback: 3 Top Tips for NaNoWriMo Preparation | Cat Lumb: The Struggle to be a Writer

  2. I like all this. Seems like you are really prepared and raring to go. A 20 minute train commute, eh? Where do you live? I really look forward to seeing what you came up with for November and to see how everything turns out.

    • I live in Stalybridge, just outside Manchester – where I work (it’s actually a 45m commute, but I can’t write on the bus well!). I’m originally from across the other side of the Pennines: which makes me a proud Yorkshire gal living on the wrong side of the hill! lol!
      I’ll try and keep up with the blog in November so you can join my NaNo journey this year! Hopefully I’ll be able to report another win.
      Take Care, Cat

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