Before You Kickoff NaNoWriMo
Consider adding 4 more things to your Preptober list to help set yourself up for success with NaNoWriMo this year.
I know your to-do list is already packed to the brim with everything you're preparing for your novel.
You've got a synopsis to write and read through, scenes to organize, acts to label, character charts to fill out, bullet journal spreads to make for your settings, plot holes to dodge like an Olympic sport, books to buy that you won't be able to read through and implement before NaNoWriMo actually starts -- I know.
You've got a lot to do.
As someone who has hands-on experience being in the Preptober trenches, I also know how easy it is to overlook some other areas of our lives that we can include in our Preptober to-do list that can work to our benefit as much as all that other stuff we're already doing.
Recently, I wrote this article on Medium with 5 non-writing things to add to your Preptober checklist and while I still stand by all five of those things, I thought of a few more things to help you be your best writer self this NaNoWriMo season.
Plan Novembers Content ASAP
I know, I know.
You're already busy getting a ton of things ready for your writing project and that's great.
I'm happy for you.
But I'm also looking out for you, so hear me out on this one.
Planning and batch-creating content isn't a new concept for anyone and though I know it's not something that really works for everyone -- nothing really does -- I do think it's an underrated tool worth adding to the arsenal, if only for the writing holiday season.
Taking time to create content your future self will thank you for as you head into one of the busiest writing months of the year is going to create the breathing room you're looking for every year, give you back a little bit of your spare time you'd otherwise spend creating content on the day today, and it ensures that even on the days you're feeling worn out or just forget -- your engagement and social media can still go on without you being there.
Find an Accountability Partner & Your Support Network
Usually, we wait until we're done with a project before we seek out a critique partner or writing circle, or even just a writing partner. As if we need a finished piece of work to prove we're a writer or worthy of community.
Instead, I'd like to encourage you to start finding your writing tribe now. Wherever you are in your journey. There's nothing like belonging to a little community of writers who truly know you, and support you through the ups and downs of writing and all of its woes. It's a lot easier to pull through the drag of the muddy middle or shut off your inner critic when you have friends who wholly understand you, that you can share your struggles and wins with.
Let's face it. No one understands a writer's problem like another writer.
Write Yourself a Letter for the End
If you've been reading up on ways to prep for NaNoWriMo then you've likely come across this advice at least twice but that's because it's pretty good advice.
Everyone loves a thank you note, and o one is going to write you a better thank you note after writing 50,000 words quite as you will. Whether you're going at NaNoWriMo the traditional way or rebelling in your own way, there's a lot that goes into focusing on a project for thirty days straight and you're going to deserve one hell of a pat on the back at the end of the month no matter what you're working on.
This letter can also double as a source of encouragement and motivation, if you leave it somewhere you can see it to be reminded of how grateful your future self already is for all the hard work you're putting in.
Clean That Damn Work Space
A cluttered space is a cluttered mind, and a cluttered mind can't write.
You may be able to ignore the bit of mess that occurs after the average day in your workspace, you may even be able to let that little mess rock for a while but eventually, it's going to impede your writing. Either as an excuse that sounds a lot like "I need to write but I need to clean my desk first and I don't really want to right now..." Sound familiar?
This is me giving you permission you don't need and didn't ask for, to buy a few decorations for your space - whatever your idea of the decoration is - and give yourself a deep clean and a refresh of your workspace.
You're about to spend thirty days in your workspace for one reason or another, NaNoWriMo or not, and you and your creative energy, deserve to thrive in a fresh inspirational, and motivating space to come to every day and release your greatness.
Do you have non-writing things you do during Preptober to set yourself up for NaNoWriMo or a long writing endeavor in general? Reorganizing and decluttering my workspace, and buying a new journal are always top of the list for me.