I have some friends who run because it’s fun, and others who hit the pavement in the name of health and fitness. Some run short distances, and some are ultra-marathoners.
Anyone who knows me knows that if I am running, something is very, VERY wrong. 🙂
But there is ONE THING that will get me running:
That’s right. I think health and fitness are well and good, but give me a cute race medal and I will lace up my tennies and start training.
(The cheering crowds & bragging rights don’t hurt. Obviously.)
So when I decided I wanted to get serious about writing I knew that I needed some motivation.
It’s the perfect blend of virtual bling and friendly competition.
HOW TO ROCK THE 2015 NaNoWriMo
Maybe you need to start writing, to keep writing, or to finally explore that twinkle-in-your-eye novel idea that keeps popping up.
Writing 50k words in a month sounds, in a word, intense.
So I’ve been thinking up a few good ways to make sure I have the inspiration and mental fuel I need to keep the character count going in the right direction.
Whether you’re writing the next Great American Novel, or the next YA-fanfic-turned-runaway Bestseller — here are a few things to keep your head in the race (and your fingers flying over the keyboard) over the next 30 days.
10 NaNoWriMo ESSENTIALS FOR SERIOUS WRITERS
1. Just the FAQs
It’s not the sexiest step, but to get the lay of the land, visit:
2. Start Plotting (or at least Choose Your Pants)
Writer, know thyself. Need to know which kind of writer you are? Read this.
PLOTTERS (like me) will need a bit of advanced prep to blitz confidently through the word gauntlet.
I plan to have several generic beat sheets handy for quick reference, a few story concepts, character lists, etc.
PANTSTERS might want to have one, or a few, of these basics noted: a basic plot, characters, the twist, or anything that will get you started or save you if you feel stalled.
3. Get Your Writing Space Ready!
-Choose a flat surface and make a clearing.
-Get a NaNoWriMo mug.
-Set the mood – buy yourself some flowers or other decor.
-Figure out where to save your work: Google Drive, Scrivener, Dropbox Sync, etc.
4. Block Out Writing Time
Commit to writing SOMETHING daily. Even if it’s just, “I wrote something today.”
Plan for days you know you won’t write much – Hello Thanksgiving! (See above: Commit to writing daily.)
Know your energy patterns: don’t plan to write in the mornings if you’re not an early riser.
Get a blank calendar and write down the weekly cumulative word goals, so you know when to escape to the library for a catch-up day or two.
Hint: The daily goal is 1,667 to be on track to win.
5. Put On Your Writing Uniform
A little SWAG never hurt anyone.
If it inspires you to think like a bestselling author, consider donning:
A UNI-STYLE SWEATSHIRT
This totally appeals to my geeky side!
BOOK & QUILL TSHIRT
For the Unpublished Author on a Budget. 😉
6. Join (or Create) an Accountability Group
Check in with writer pals to share when you plan to write, or just to brag about your wordcount.
-Create a Facebook Group (or just start a group chat convo).
-Make a group on Voxxer to check in with audio messages.
-Post when you will write, then share when you’ve completed that day’s writing.
7. Have a Backup Plan
Keep a list of additional story concepts – switch it up midstream if needed.
Try writing in another style, voice, perspective, etc.
Write like you are blogging it, reporting on it, or whatever gets the words going again.
If the whole thing is stuck, try plugging in a new scene, twist, or transitioning the plot entirely.
8. Get Your Playlist Ready
Music not only inspires me to write, it sometimes inspires plot or character ideas.
You can build a playlist of specific songs on Spotify, or you can select an album or a thematic channel.
Here are 12 Spotify lists for writers to get you started.
Pandora and Amazon Music are two other great options.
9. Pick Your Poison
Do you need gummie bears to write?
Or maybe sunflower seeds, baby carrots, chewing gum, trail mix, or kale chips?
(Kale chips might not be very Hemmingway-ish, but hey – whatever it takes)
Don’t forget to hydrate!
Perhaps you should chill 30 cans of sparkling water, get a nice wine cube (drink responsibly, observe local laws, etc etc!), or stockpile some k-cups.
10. Keep Your Inspiration Close
Why do you want to write a novel?
Are you jump-starting what you hope will be a wonderful new career? Planning to leave a legacy for your family? (I LOVE this reason.)
Here are 14 novels that were written during NaNoWriMo, for starters.
Here’s some more really cool inspiration. Need more? Just search for “published NaNoWriMo novels” for more.
Consider making an unofficial book cover in Canva and hanging it where you can see it.
Put this wallpaper on your computer for another reminder, or find something more your style that you can look at every day.
Whatever motivates you, cheers to November!