It’s that time of year again!
No, I don’t mean the time of year where it’s a chill out and there’s all sorts of goblins and ghosts cackling from the doorways. I do however mean that it’s NaNoPrep time again.
For those of you who may not know what NaNo is, it’s a shorthand form of NaNoWriMo, which in turn is a shorthand form of National Novel Writing Month. Don’t let the name fool you—if you’re a writer in any country, you’re welcome to join in the challenge. For the thirty days of November, your goal is to write fifty-thousand words. For younger writers, you can also check out the Young Writer’s Program, which has a more flexible goal.
Regardless of how often you’ve done NaNo before, it’s always a good idea to give yourself a little time to prep beforehand. Even for veteran Wrimos, fifty-thousand words is a big task. It’s not something every writer can do in a span of thirty-days. Before tackling any challenge, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re well prepared.
Story Prep. Part of this is knowing your process. If you’re a plotter—do you have everything you need planned out? For pantsers, have you got plenty of inspiration to get you through the month? For the hybrids among us, do you have the motivation and pep-talks you need ready to go?
Writer Prep. This is a thirty-day commitment to your story. Thirty days of planned time for writing. For most of us in the US, that also coincides directly with holiday planning. Make sure you’ve got yourself and your space ready! What ‘ready’ looks like will vary from writer to writer. Don’t get discouraged if what you need to get ready is vastly different from the next. Some of us will meal prep and schedule writing time. Some of us won’t. YMMV applies heavily to being writer-ready for NaNo.
Above all else, set yourself up for success: find someone to help support you through NaNo! You can check out the NaNoWriMo website to find writing buddies, check in with local writer groups (please remember to apply social distancing! Consider virtual events to help prevent spreading Covid), or ask a loved one to cheer you on throughout the month.
How are you getting ready for NaNo?