Exercises, writing

NaNo Prep ’22

October is just around the corner and that means time for NaNo prep!

If you don’t already know, NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge which takes place every November. The idea is to write fifty-thousand words starting on the first and ending on the thirtieth. It’s officially hosted by the NaNoWriMo nonprofit.

There are a lot of good benefits to participating in NaNo. Not only is it a dedicated writing challenge, there is a massive community to help get through the tougher parts of the writing alongside dozens of resources. That being said like any other writing tool, it does not suit every writer. Fifty thousand words is a lot and November can be a stressful and busy month for many people outside of NaNo. It may not suit your personal writing process to crank out a draft in a month. More importantly, for a great many writers, any draft done in a month is no where near ready to move forward with.

Cautions and warnings aside, NaNo is a huge amount of fun and a great way to connect with other writers. Because of the amount of work that goes into writing fifty thousand words, it’s helpful to do at least some prep before November first, which brings us to October.

Regardless of how you write, NaNo will go so much smoother if you at least have a plan and a support structure set up for you. Some things to address:

  • When. The official number is 1,667 words daily. That’s a pretty decent chunk so if writing daily is something that works well for you, blocking out the amount of time you’ll need to write that amount ahead of time is a good idea. Otherwise, consider what days you’ll need to try and frontload your wordcount or if you’ll be scheduling in catch-up days.
  • What. It’s going to be a little difficult to write fifty thousand useable words without some idea of what you’re writing. For my fellow pantser and discovery writers: outlines are not wholly necessary but you will need some strong ideas and plenty of inspirational sources to get you through. Get these together ahead of time.
  • Who. The most important thing to remember about NaNo is that it is a writing challenge. It’s also a lot like running a marathon and just like that marathon, having a couple of people to cheer you on and encourage you is immensely helpful. Take a little bit of time and find a support group, either in person or online. Additionally, these can help out outside of NaNo.

If you need an a slightly more structured plan for NaNo Prep, check out the Preptober Planner from the lovely Nicole Lutrell of Paper Beats World. It’s a simple, four-week guideline to get you through the preparation stage and set up to start a great writing journey on November first.

What are you doing to get ready for NaNo? Let me know in the comments below!

Please note I am in no way affiliated with the NaNoWriMo organization. All thoughts contained herein are my own.

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