Updated for 2015…
NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words during the month of November. This can seem like a daunting and time-consuming task and when you have a house to run as well it can seem almost impossible. With some preparation, you can make November run more smoothly.
I’ve looked at a few prep lists for NaNo and noticed that mine was a little different. I decided to share it in hopes it might help someone else. I know this is a little late. I’ll try to repost the revised version of this list a little earlier next year.
- Plan all meals for the month of November. Make sure to keep #2 and #3 in mind while making your November menu and consider doing a search for quick meal ideas. I’ll try to post a few of my favorites during NaNo.
- Freeze leftovers for easy meals in November. My Food Saver is one of my best friends all year round, but it’s particularly helpful for stocking up meals for November.
- Dust off that crock pot. Your crock pot can be a time saver and is for more than just making roast. I’ll try to post a few more of my favorite crock pot recipes during NaNo. I’ll post some one skillet/pan and one pot recipes, too. Jumping on the freezer meals bandwagon is helpful, too.
- Detail clean the house. I have spring-cleaning and then NaNo cleaning. If the house is freshly detailed, those quick room cleanups go even faster. Besides, a super clean house can make you feel more comfortable with putting things off for a day or two longer so you have more time to write.
- Schedule blog posts. If you have a blog, write a few blog posts in October and schedule them to post in November to squeeze out a little more writing time. Unless you’re doing NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) as well. I don’t know if scheduled posts are cheating, but it doesn’t seem sporting to me.
- Jot down notes or make an outline. While there are many people who can sit down to a blank screen and just start typing, I’m not always one of them. Faced with a deadline, I feel more comfortable with some kind of direction in mind. Doesn’t mean that my characters don’t wander off script and I wind up with a different story than I planned, but it helps keep me from running into that brick wall called writer’s block.
- Do any research needed ahead of time. Frantically researching while trying to finish NaNo can be a word count killer. I didn’t finish more than once because I didn’t get all my research done.
- Fill out your calendar with appointments and obligations. Make note of these. What days are you not going to be able to write? If there are five days in November that you cannot see a way to fit writing in for whatever reason, adjust your daily word count accordingly and aim for that.
- Let your friends and family know what you’re doing. They might scoff, but knowing ahead of time can ward off an explanation later. Listening to the scoffing while you’re doing NaNo not only takes time away from writing but could also damage your flow with negativity and drama you don’t need.
- Make a playlist. A playlist of music that fits your genre or in some way fosters your creativity can help drown distraction and get you in the mood to write. Use headphones for best results.
For those of you participating this year, write like the wind! I’d love to hear/read how you’re doing so feel free to comment on a post or drop me an email. Feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website, too!