I am super excited for National Novel Writing Month, starting in less than a week. I have never tried anything like this before, and I am hoping for, nay, demanding my success. I know not everyone finishes, and most people end up with work that will require major editing, but I am still remaining hopeful as I prepare.
There are a lot of articles out there right now, teaching people how to prepare for NaNoWriMo. They talk about time management, outlining, story planning, all sorts of funny little details. Some of these I am listening to, but not all of them. After all, they won’t all work for everyone. Here are five things I am doing to prepare.
1. Have a plan.
I am getting ready for this, and I am trying to do this properly. I know the story I am going to write. I have an outline, with some scene details where I have them ready. I am not going in blind, I am planning to follow a map.
2. Schedule writing time.
Life can get busy. If the writing time is not respected everyday, the words will not be written. They always tell you if you are trying to workout, write it in your schedule like an appointment. Just like anything else, you promise to be there, and you show up. My writing will be the same way; I am making an appointment for my writing time, and I intend to keep it.
3. Clean up.
To get all of my writing done this month, I will need to be focused. So, the next week will need to be spent cleaning out the other projects on my list. Beta reading, homework; anything I can get ahead on I need to do, so that I can have the time I need later.
4. Anticipate issues.
You can’t necessarily fix everything, in either the story or your life. I can however look at my life in the next few weeks and see what will make things easier. I know when my kids will be out of school, and when I have appointments. Those times will not be a free pass to goof off and not get my writing done. Instead, I can look at those moments and plan around them, not letting myself waste anytime.
No matter what I do, the only thing that will get me through NaNoWriMo will be sitting down and writing. I can plan everything, anticipate everything, but if I do not actually do the writing, it is all for nothing. By this time next week, I plan to be neck deep in a story, bringing it out, and hopefully making it mean something.