It’s almost here! NaNoWriMo 2021 is just 6 days away. Oh, that glorious, wondrous time when we put aside all reason and write an entire novel draft in 30 days or less. If you’ve never participated in NaNo before – or never won – you probably need some help getting things going. Here are a few things I do each year to get myself ready, to keep myself motivated, and to get that NaNoWriMo winner’s badge.
Think through your responsibilities and duties during the month of November. What do you need to have completed before the month-long madness begins? What do you need to do ahead of time to free up as much writing time as possible?
Some things we do around here to prepare include:
- Meal planning for the month by October 30
- Complete shopping list by October 30
- A work and study schedule ahead of time as much as possible
- A workout schedule, complete with strength & cardio training – but not so much that we’re in the gym more than we’re writing
- Announce the novels we’re working on at least two days before midnight on November 1 hits
- A deep clean of the house and elimination of all distractions (that we can get rid of or move into storage temporarily!)
- Buy up all the tea and candles I need for a cozy writing space before October 30
Plot, Outline, and Plan Your Novel
Not everyone is a planner – pantsers are pretty frequent in this madness, as well – but having some kind of plan ahead of time can help you get your butt in the chair for writing, and, more importantly, keep it there. If you have at least a vague idea of what you’re planning to write, it can help you get started and keep you going.
Celebrate Midnight November 1 With a Party or Write-In
A quick, easy way to get into the swing of things is by attending or planning a celebration of NaNoWriMo. Invite fellow writers over, find a write-in somewhere, or Skype with other writers. Set up some light decorations, brew your favorite tea or coffee, buy some yummy treats, and get that keyboard going the second the clock ticks over to 12:00.
Find Write-Ins to Attend Multiple Times Throughout the Month
It’s amazing how having people around can keep you writing. Attending a write-in is one of the best ways to surround yourself with other writers in the process. A friend of mine rarely writes anything during NaNo – despite participating for something like 15 years now – unless he attends write-ins. They really do make that big of a difference.
Announce Your Intentions Publicly and Talk About Your Progress
Telling your friends and family via social media can help keep you writing all month long. It’s sort of like losing weight in that way. If people know you’re working towards a goal, it can be motivational because you don’t want to publicly “fail.” Plus that encouragement you get from folks cheering you towards the NaNoWriMo winner’s badge on is always helpful.
Need more writing motivation? Check out these other NaNoWriMo posts and writing resources.
- Fantasy Writing Prompts
- Wholesome Romance Writing Prompts
- NaNoWriMo Prep: Your Writing Space
- NaNoWriMo Prep: Finding the Right Consequences for Your Writing Goals
- Writing Sprints to Break Through Writer’s Block
- Speed Writing Method: How I Write 10,000 Words in 4 Hours
- NaNoWriMo Prep: Staying Active During NaNoWriMo
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.