Today is October 1st. Fall has finally settled in, the PSL is back at Starbucks, and only three more months remain in 2017. But, that's not why you're freaking out right now. You're freaking out because in exactly thirty-one days NaNoWriMo will begin.
That's right! On November 1st writers will flock to their notebooks, typewriters, desktops, and laptops to jump-start their word-count in a frenzy to write fifty thousand words in thirty days. Hopefully, you'll join me in embarking on this daunting mission. Before you start hyperventilating, I want you to know I get it.
Yes, you have a full-time job.
Yes, you have a family and household to take care of.
Yes, Thanksgiving also takes place that month and you're going to be busy cooking, cleaning, and spending time with family.
And yes, you will, despite everything mentioned above, write fifty thousand words in thirty days.
Go back and read that sentence again. You. Will. Write. Fifty. Thousand. Words. In. Thirty. Days. How do I know? Because you're going to use this month, October, to prep your novel. When November 1st arrives, you won't be worrying about your story idea, your genre, creating character profiles, making a story outline, building your world, or setting up your writing space.
And I'm going to help you along the way. Every Sunday of this month, you will get a new tip to help you prep your novel for Nanowrimo. Starting with today's topic: Getting Organized.
I want you to head over to NaNoWriMo's official website and sign-up if you haven't already registered. Make sure you write your login details down and keep them in a safe place so you won't be scrambling to remember them later on. Once signed in, complete your profile, and select your region. Don't worry about announcing your 2017 NaNoWriMo novel now. We'll focus on that next Sunday in Part Two of this series when we finalize your story idea, genre, point-of-view, and tense. However, I do want you to spend the rest of this week taming those plot bunnies dancing around in your head. Try to capture that plot bunny that is calling out to you the most and pulling on your heartstrings.
While you're doing this, think of other ways you can make November as stress-free as possible.
Are you a blogger too? Try to plan your posts for November in advance so later on this month you can write at least half of them and schedule them to post later. This way, you won't have to worry about writing fifty thousand words in addition to four to five blog posts.
Do you have kids and/or a busy schedule? Try to schedule any appointments for this month to free up time for next month.
How are you going to write your novel? Are you going to handwrite it or type? Make sure you have the required materials, whether that means purchasing a new notebook and writing pen or downloading Microsoft Word or another writing program.
Do you have a certain time when you prefer to write? Block that time in your calendar and treat it like a commitment. Of course, life is unpredictable and emergencies do come up. Have a plan B in place so you won't be completely thrown off your schedule. Also, be sure to let family and friends know that you'll be participating. That way they can support you with this writing commitment and respect the fact that you may not be as social as you've been other months.
I know fifty thousand words in thirty days may seem like a lot. But I also know that we can do it together. Even if you don't write on Thanksgiving...or the day after that. This week focus on getting organized. And be sure to join me next week so we can declare your 2017 NaNoWriMo project.
By the way, not only is this month Prep-tober, it's also OctPoWriMo. For the month of October, I'll also be writing poetry every day and posting it here. I'm not the best poet so promise not to laugh. If you want to join in you can sign up here.