National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is around the corner (I know, I can’t believe it either). If you want to cross the 50,000-word finish line, you need to put your best foot forward.
Sure, you could just sit down on November 1 and see what happens, but that’s a total waste of your time.
Rather than waste 30 days writing a draft you’ll toss in a drawer, never to see the light of day again, why not take NaNoWriMo seriously this year? You have plenty of time.
As you may already know, I am hugely involved in getting writers ready for NaNoWriMo, and then keeping them motivated to finish. And I’ve created a three-step process for having a badass NaNoWriMo experience.
The three steps are:
Note: this process isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for writers who are serious about coming out of NaNoWriMo with a 50,000-word draft that is a polish away from being publishable.
If you want a draft that you can actually polish up and then publish, you have to plan your NaNoWriMo story before you write it. That’s the only way you’ll come out the other side with something you can use.
Seat-of-your-pants writing will get you nothing but a full draft rewrite. And that’s a waste of your precious time.
When you plan your story ahead of time, when you know what your structure looks like and who your characters are, you will be far ahead of the game.
Best of all, planning isn’t against the NaNoWriMo rules. All it states is you can’t write any of the words beforehand, but planning is totally allowed.
Because I’m such a huge proponent of being efficient with your writing time and planning ahead, I’m running my third-annual NaNoWriMo Road Map virtual workshop.
The week before NaNoWriMo, you’ll want to shift into step two of the process, which is prepping.
Prepping is not related to the story you’ll be writing, but to the actual preparation to do the writing. Prep includes:
- Clearing your schedule–NaNoWriMo is a crazy, but fun time of year. If you’re in for the ride, you gotta be in for the ride. That means leaving your schedule open to write your 1.667 words each day during November.
- Building a NaNoWriMo Survival Kit–there are certain things you’ll need in order to survive doing that much writing in 30 days.
- Finishing up your plans–take the final week of the month of October to finish up your story plans. You don’t want to waste any time during November planning.
- Getting support–if you’re going to survive NaNo, you need someone to keep you accountable (and sane) during the process. A friend, a writer’s group or even an online NaNo group can be of service in this way.
After you’re prepped, the last step is to find a way to motivate yourself to stick with this challenge. Staying motivated for the whole 30 days is not an easy task. There are so many distractions and fears to try pulling you away from the writing process.
That’s why I’ve launched my fourth-annual 30 Days of NaNo Tips emails. Every day during the month of November you’ll receive an inspiring and motivational tip to help you write your word count for the day.
With this three-step process, there’s no way you won’t have a badass NaNoWriMo experience.
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How do you prep for NaNoWriMo?