NaNoWriMo 2017: Planning, Setup, and Awaiting the Start

“NaNoWriMo has always been a time for me to really hunker down and get my writing in order. It is the time of the year I can truly remind myself of my capabilities, of what I can do once I make the time to get down to business. This year, I haven’t had an idea in the back of my mind waiting to be written in November, so I am starting with an entirely blank slate. For the rest of the last two days before the writing ensues, I will be gathering ideas, possible starting points, and setting up my documents. Making the most of November really kickstarts my writing, especially when I’ve begun to feel as though I do not have the time to do much of it anymore. It is the definition of making time to do what’s truly important to you. That’s something to never lose sight of. For if you can make time for it now, you can make time for it later as well.”

The Checklist:

  • Document Setup: I usually have three main documents in my NaNoWriMo folder, which are: The Main Document, The Chapter Outline Document, and The Ideas and Information Document. I will take the time to outline where I want to begin, but I always invite changes as the story takes on a life of its own. I will collect all the necessary information I might need and continue to do so throughout the writing process, whether that be character names, settings, possible titles, etc. Having everything on hand and easily accessible always helps to progress as quickly as possible when November 1st rolls around. 
  • Finding and Maintaining Inspiration: When it comes to writing a novel, it can be difficult if we cannot visualize what it is that’s happening or where it could possibly occur. Sometimes we get stuck, we aren’t experiencing the necessary spark to get it all out because we aren’t sure where to go next. I usually will create a secret board on Pinterest for the particular novel I’m working on, so that any time I feel as though I do not have enough to go off of, or if I need something to spark the next chapter, I can find and pin something that might inspire the next plot move. 
  • Creating and Sticking to a Schedule: With any new project, finding the time out of your busy schedule to work on it can be challenging, but once you’ve managed to find a comfortable middle ground, it’ll be all the more rewarding. For me, I’m incredibly creative in the evenings, so I will make sure to get the majority of my work done during the day, so I can really give time to my writing, and allow it to be a distraction free process.
  • Just Write: It can be difficult to ignore the urge to fix absolutely everything we see as we try to work on our novels, and even I struggle with the idea of getting used to leaving the editing for afterwards. Though, it is something that I am going to have to put the effort into getting used to if I want to complete my goal this November, as well as be able to sit down and edit it after all is said and done. 

I will admit that I haven’t edited last year’s novel, and that is a really frustrating thought. I’ve made the decision to really tend to the editing process once NaNoWriMo is over, for it is a necessary step for the progression of any project. However, for right now, all I need to focus on is gathering my thoughts, continuing to prepare as best as I can, and when it finally starts, to give it my all. I know how truly rewarding it is to complete it, how good it feels to have reached the end of a story that has been flourishing over the course of a month. It is a good reminder of just how much the writing process is important to me, and just how hard I can truly work if I give myself what I need to do so.

I will certainly be doing quite a bit of check-ins, updates, and overall experience reports as the month goes on. I want to document my progress, and truly play with all of the ideas I have. This year I want to challenge myself to get out of my writing comfort zone, and do things a bit differently. I want to approach the story in a way I’ve never done before, and that excites me.

Good luck to everyone participating this year! 

Happy Writing! 


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