How to Prepare for Nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo is ultimately what you make of it.  Write like there’s no looking back and you have no backspace key.  It’s a time to create art.  And sometimes you need to get in the right frame of mind for art. So here are some ways you can get ready to go the distance this November.

1. Stock up on Caffeine.

Or chocolate or tea or incense or flavored water, or whatever substances get you in the writing mood.  The idea here is that you don’t want to move too far from your writing spot once inspiration strikes.  You want to have your Writer Juice at hand when you need it.  Whatever that may be.  I won’t judge.

2. Doodle

Or chicken scratch, or write poetry, or write a five-step program for conquering internet addiction.  The point is to get yourself acquainted with clearing your mind and flexing those creative muscles.  You’ll be doing a lot more of this in the weeks to come.

3. Plan Ahead

And by ‘plan ahead’ I mean, decide early how much preparation you want to do.  Some people freak out if they don’t have a novel idea by October 31.  Other people live by the ‘seat-of-the-pants’ method of noveling bliss.  I’m a huge fan of pre-writing, even if all it amounts to is “This is the year I write that novel about alien ducks invading Florida.”  But do plan.

(For more on planning ahead, see my post, “NaNo Plan Day“.

4. Google the Interwebs

There’s a treasure trove of auxiliary and useful information  beyond what you can find here, to help you get ready for November.  For your perusal:

25 things you can do before starting your next novel –  Another great list from the good people at Terrible Minds. (While entertaining, please note Chuck Wendig’s extraordinarily creative vocabulary may not be suitable for your workplace.  Or for your life.)

The Procrastination Station – Courtesy of, the best way to win is to resist the temptation to lose.  And since knowing is half the battle, here are some things you can resist doing.  Thank me later.

Scrivener – Forget Word and Notepad.  Nothing says “I’m writing a novel!” like software that helps you write a novel.