Oct 052016
 

Updated for 2016…

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 work and 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 helps someone else. I’m actually posting this in plenty of time this year!

Plan all meals for the month of November. Make sure to keep the next two in mind while making your November menu and consider doing a search for quick meal ideas. You can find what I did last year here: Freezer Meals

If you search Google for printable menus and freezer inventory, you’ll find a plethora of templates that you can print or edit and print to help keep yourself organized. I’m hoping to have some custom printables for next year, but making something like that isn’t really my forte. I might have to enlist some help. wink, wink, nudge, nudge 

Freeze leftovers for easy meals in November. My FoodSaver is one of my best friends all year round, but it’s particularly helpful for stocking up on meals for November. The bags are more compact than plastic containers, so you can fit more in your freezer. Freezing meals in plastic containers makes things handier, but make sure to cover the food with plastic wrap to help deter frost.

Dust off that crock pot. Your crock pot can be a time saver and is for more than just making a roast. There are quite a few crock pot/slow cooker recipes posted to help get you started.  I also have 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 so you have more time to write. 15-minute cleanups can help you feel more comfortable with leaving the deep cleaning until later.

These tips allow for a quick cleaning or maintenace cleaning inbetween more thorough cleanings. Find out how to clean any room in 15 minutes or less.

Source: 15 Minute Cleanups for Every Room of Your Home

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.

Learn your software. I made the mistake of installing new software to use while in the middle of  NaNo. I spent more time trying to learn the new software than I did writing for several days. I use Scrivener when I write and while it’s pretty intuitive, I’d still hate to walk into it cold at any point during NaNo. I can’t recommend Scrivener highly enough, but I’ll save that for another post. Check it out, though. Just give yourself enough time to learn it if you decide to get it. You can always import your work into Scrivener later and in the last few years, there has been a discount coupon for Scrivener if you complete your 50,000. Doesn’t mean there will be this year, but there could be.

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 put you in the mood to write. Use headphones for best results. 

I use music I own, Pandora and playlists on YouTube depending on my mood. YouTube less so. I’d be tempted to watch, but there are plenty of audio only playlists, too.

Here’s one of my favorite YouTube playlists when I need some creepy background music. Not audio only, but I hide it behind other windows until I forget there’s video.

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, contact me or drop me an email.  Feel free to add me as a friend on the NaNoWriMo website, too!

Oct 212015
 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

Oct 252011
 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Dust off that crockpot. Your crockpot can be a time saver and is for more than just making roast. I’ll try to post a few more of my favorite recipes during NaNo on the Community Cookbook.  I’ll post some fast and one skillet recipes, too.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Do any research needed ahead of time. Frantically researching while trying to finish NaNo can be a word count killer.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

Sep 182011
 

And now we’re back to almost all Twitter updates as posts.  I’m slipping…. again.

Actually, a lot has happened.  My daughter graduated from high school and moved on to college.  We moved her into the dorms, but we still see her often since she works near home.  We have brunch on Sunday, which gives us a chance to catch up.  She misses the quiet of home sometimes, but I’m sure she’s enjoying more freedom.

Someone shattered the passenger side window of her car and rifled through her glove box.  Didn’t look like they took anything.  Luckily, she’s smart and didn’t have anything of worth in her car.  She got it fixed and then the door wouldn’t open so she had to take it back.  They didn’t get all the glass out of the door before they put the window back in, but it works now.

I was sick off and on this summer, so I have a lot to catch up on.  Every nook and cranny of the house needs cleaned especially since we’re getting the house ready for a guest in October.  We’ve known her for about 12 years now and this will be the first time we get to meet in person.  I can’t wait!

The yard is a mess, so we’re trying to make it look nice again.  I’m sure our neighbors are thanking us already.  Pulled all the dead sunflowers from under the window and I plan on replacing them with either mums or irises.  I miss my lacy irises.  The plain ol’ yellow ones have pretty much taken over everything.  I think I might be able to get some of the lacy ones from my mom.  I’ll have to ask.

I’m back to putting things up on CafePress and actually added a few products to Zazzle.  Rushing to get the Halloween art and photography up on Zazzle before its entirely too late, so that’s what I’m working on now.  I’ll be posting on that as I get things finished.

I’ve started reading every night again and I’m trying to turn it into a habit.  Even if I only read for 5 minutes, I make myself read every night.  Maybe one of these days I’ll actually finish this huge stack of unread books.  As for writing… I haven’t gotten back into the habit yet, but I write here and there.  I’ll be trying to turn it back into a habit starting in October, with a break for our visiting friend, so hopefully Nano won’t be such a shock to the system.

Speaking of Nano, I think I figured out what I’m going to do this year.  I’m hoping the early decision bodes well for how it will go.  Gives me plenty of time to think about where I want the story to go and to get a little research done.  I think I’m starting to get a little excited about it.

Last year, I said I was going to post time-saving meals for Nano and didn’t get around to it.  This year, I’ll link to some recipes posted on the Community Cookbook and try to get some more posted before Nano arrives.  I’ll probably repost the Nano tips from last year, too.

Enough babbling… back to work for me!

Currently reading:

Aug 112010
 

I’ve spent a lot of time and effort researching things that might come into play in the book I’ve been working on. While the research is interesting, I know I’ve taken it to the point of stalling.

The scope of the project I’m doing is large and needs research, but where do you draw the line? Research too little or not at all and you’re ill prepared. Research too much and you’re not getting anything on the page. I don’t know where that line is myself, but it feels like stalling now. I can always do more research later, right?

So, I stopped stalling as of today and I’m writing. If you’re stuck in endless research like I am/was, think about what you’re doing. Do you really need it all or are you actually afraid to start writing so you’re stalling yourself where it’s safe?

Stop stalling and start writing!

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