So, here we are, a mere seven days away from NaNoWriMo 2016! How many of you out there have committed to knock out 50,000 words in the month of November? Last year was a bit of a challenge for me but I had completely planned my project. It was going well until half-way through the month when a couple of my characters rebelled and went off in their own direction. I ended up with a story that was completely different than what I had planned. I was a little thrown-off by rebellion and I haven't finished editing the work because I'm not sure I want it to end the way it did. However, I will get back to it eventually.
My project for NaNoWriMo 2016 is more in the Sci-fi realm. I really haven't done much planning for it at all. I had planned to use it for Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 back in July but I dropped out early for health reasons. I basically have a general idea of the story and 4 thin character sketches. I figured: “What is the point of planning if my characters tend to do their own thing anyway?”
For all of you NaNo-ists out there, I am doing a countdown to the big event on November 1st. Today I will go over items you might want to add to a checklist to help you prepare for NaNoWriMo 2016.
Plan your meals for the month. Now there are many different levels of this type of preparation. Some people only eat take-out. So, for them, planning meals for the month is easy. However, for people like me who hardly ever eat out and usually cook from scratch (or close to it), it is helpful to at least plan out a menu for the month's meals. This doesn't mean that you have to go purchase everything or do all your month's cooking at once, but some do. I usually just plan out a menu of dinner entrées and then a revolving selection of lunch an dinner ideas. That way, I can save time since I don't have to struggle to come up with meal ideas every week.
Another thing to think about is what you are eating. I know, I know, some of you don't like vegetables or some other issue like that...BUT, good nutrition does great things for your brain. If your body is flooded with refined sugars, your brain suffers. That brain fog that you are fighting around 11am may be because of the specialty coffee (stuffed with flavoring and whipped cream) and breakfast cookie you consumed. If you cut down on refined sugars and / or breads for the month, you may find your writing process flowing. Remember though, seven days before NaNoWriMo 2016 is no time to go cold turkey on anything...people's lives could be at stake.
Do you have plenty of coffee, tea, Monsters, etc...stored away for the month? Just remember to drink some water from time to time. Again, I hear some of you saying: “Yuck! I hate water!” Just stay hydrated.
Your work space: Do you have a good place to write? How is the lighting? Is the chair comfortable? Is the desk at the right height for long term writing? Do you have good music to listen to or do you prefer peace and quiet? When you are on-the-go, do you have a mobile work space that will work for you?
Do you have your tech lined up? If you are using a new piece of software or a new computer, tablet, or phone (not sure why...but some highly mobile people do their writing on their phones these days), make sure you are comfortable using said software or hardware. You don't want to be fighting with your tech when you are trying to pound out 50K words in one month.
Have you decided what your approach will be? Are you going to be a pantser, planner or plantser? I will cover more on this in tomorrow's post.
Have you started forming a support group? It is always good to have others you can talk to who understand what you are doing. A great place for this is in the NaNoWriMo forums. While there, you can also join a regional group that may put you in touch with other writers in your area who are willing to meet in person for occasional write-ins.
These are just a few things you can start preparing while we are waiting for that big launch date. I will be posting a new article each day with information and support to get you ready. Also, don't forget, a donation to NaNoWriMo 2016 would be a great addition to your dashboard and go ahead and place an order for your Winner! T-shirt....I have faith in you!