That time of year has rolled around once again, it is time to prepare to write a novel in 30 days! With NaNoWriMo just around the corner (if you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, I explained it in last years post which you can check out here) which means it’s time to flesh out characters, start building a world and get stocked up on as much caffeine as possible. If you read last years post, you will know that both Doreth and I attempted to complete the challenge of writing a full-length novel in the month of November. Quick update: we both failed miserably. Just like the year before that. This year I am on my own, Doreth is very busy with her new study so I will have to make do without my usual writing buddy. The question is: how on earth am I going to manage to actually stick to my goal and complete the 50,000 words? Last years post was about how to prepare your novel, this years post might be even more important than that one. How to prepare yourself for the task ahead. Now I would recommend you take my advice with a grain of salt (maybe even an entire salt-shaker…) because I obviously have no idea what I’m doing. However if I actually achieve my goal this year, it might be a worthwhile technique. Only time will tell.
FOOLPROOF 4-STEP PLAN TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR VICTORY
1. PREPARE YOUR NOVEL
I know I said that this post would be about how to prepare yourself for NaNoWriMo, but I do think that preparing your novel is a big part of that. If your novel isn’t outlined or your characters and settings aren’t clear to you, you will most likely feel unprepared. Whatever you do. So grab yourself a notebook or start up a Word (pages, scrivener or any other writing software will do the job too) document and get to it!
2. DEDICATE A JOURNAL PAGE TO IT, SO YOU KNOW WHAT LIES AHEAD
I know that the goal is clear, write 50,000 words in 30 days (or 1667 words a day) but writing that down might help to make it more visual. I personally dedicated a page in my bullet journal to making a table of the daily goals. This way I can see what the goals are that I have to hit and if I am still on schedule. I know you can keep track of this easily on the NaNoWriMo website but I always love to have a physical table in my bullet journal to access even when my wifi is down (which always happens at the most inconvenient times).
3. SET REALISTIC GOALS
My problem these past few years has definitely been the struggle of combining writing with coursework. I couldn’t juggle writing 1667 words a day long with the hours of homework I always have to get done. Luckily this year I am doing my internship during NaNoWriMo, which means I have no homework. I work a 9 to 5:30 job. But evenings and weekends are responsibility-free. However if you are taking classes in November, don’t worry too much about hitting those word-counts. If you can’t hit it during the schoolweek, or you have a deadline breathing down your neck, just catch up in the weekend. That’s completely fine. Don’t burn yourself out. Which brings me to my next point.
4. HAVE FUN!
The month of November can get hella stressful with school / work and NaNoWriMo, but the most important thing to remember is that it’s supposed to be fun. You’re supposed to have fun with your characters and your plot. Create some cute scenes or witty dialogue. Don’t worry too much about whether what you’re writing is a literary masterpiece. Like you’ve probably heard a million times before, it’s about getting the words out. November is for putting your ideas on paper (or screen), not about having a completely polished and perfect manuscript ready to be published. You can worry about all of that in the following months. So don’t edit every sentence as soon as you’ve written it down.
Not gonna lie, this post is mainly for myself to look back on during NaNoWriMo. So I can read these words and remember it’s fine to not write a perfect story and to not hit that word count every single day. I’m just gonna try my best this year and see how it goes. I might update you during November on how my novel is coming along. Let me know if you’d be interested in that. Also be sure to tell me about your NaNo projects!!
I wish you the best of luck with prepping and of course with NaNoWriMo 2017.
May the odds be ever in your favour.
Lots of love,