We are just days away from Nanowrimo, everyone! I hope you had a good month of prepping. I’ve participated in the past 2 years but I’ve never won. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Because those times I was able to get a quick start on a project that I wouldn’t have started otherwise. It also helped me understand myself as a writer since I was always writing short stories and poems but never took on a huge project like a novel before. Now that I’m on Year 3, I’ve put together a survival kit!
My Nanowrimo Survival Kit:
Coffee shops // It’s completely okay to want to work alone in the comfort of your home but sometimes grabbing your favorite latte drink and getting outside your own head by leaving your house helps draw out inspiration. Go outside and get those creativity juices flowing!
Pinterest // Start a Pinterest account. Create a board. Name it “Nanowrimo Inspiration” or “The Title of Your Book Visuals”. Having a visual board helps me to envision my setting or characters better. There’s so many details I think to write down when I have those visuals. Sometimes we need pictures to create words. If you’re ever stuck, write a one sentence line or an entire paragraph that goes along with your story + the image that inspires you.
Hot beverages & Snacks // Stock up on your favorite tea and coffee brands. Get your hot apple cider and hot cocoa mixes. Whatever you need. It doesn’t have to be a hot beverage. It can be wine or something cold (though I am totally adding red wine to my hot cocoa). Have some easy, filling snacks on hand like popcorn or trail mix.
Novelizing music // Not only does this help arouse your imagination, it’s relaxing. You brain might be over-thinking or dishwasher in your house might be distracting you, but music can help to focus your senses on one thing. You can use any playlist you like or you can curate one specifically to go with your novel scenes. I personally recommend instrumental because you might get tempted to sing-along to the lyrics of a song.
Social media // You heard me correctly. I think Twitter will be the best option for this. Facebook ONLY for Nanowrimo groups. If you know you’ll go on just to scroll and get distracted by all the fun your friends are having, I’d avoid Facebook completely. Tumblr and Instagram are great because you can snap a photo of you on Day 5 with a mug of coffee and inspire others. Twitter is my favorite because I tend to come across more writer’s on that platform. You can share in each other’s pain and joys of the process without staying on too long.
A Calendar // If you can’t find a Nanowrimo calendar to print off, get a planner or a desk calendar. Or simply Google “printable November 2017 calendars” and decorate it yourself. Put a sticker on every day that you complete 1,667 words. Tracking your progress and seeing your progress helps your mind to want to achieve your goal more.
Rewards // Pick a reward. If you finish Nanowrimo, I get to buy __________________ . What did you put in the blank? Will you do 4 small rewards for every 10,000 words you finish? Or will reward yourself on Day 30 with one big bookish award? Maybe your significant other can be your sponsor and take you out to a nice dinner when you win!
Be sure to add me as a buddy!
General Tips //
- Remember to not focus too hard on writing chronologically unless that works for you. This is something I want to try for myself because I always get writer’s block from trying to write too linearly.
- Don’t focus too much on winning. Write every single day no matter what.
- If you feel you’re getting writer’s block or lagging behind, lean on support. Watch a TV show or a movie and forget about your idea for an hour.
- If after 2 weeks you’re getting burnt out, don’t feel discouraged. At that point, you’ll hopefully have nearly hit 25,000 words and that’s still incredible! If you are determined to finish, step back and do some outlining. Bullet-point the rest of your novel. Add a new character. Do something different to shake yourself out of your routine. Whatever you do, WORK ON YOUR NOVEL even if you’re not writing it.
- Stay positive! Remember self-care comes first. Don’t risk your mental or physical well-being. You’re not a failure even if you’ve only written 5,000 words. I believe in you!
Do you have Nanowrimo tips? Do any past winners have suggestions? Send me a link to your list and I’ll comment on your post!