Well, hello! I’ve never done a NaNoWriMo post before, mostly because I am slightly scatterbrained, slightly disorganized, and slightly inexperienced. But as this is my FOURTH year (O_O !!!!), I have decided to attempt this. This post will be in two sections, PREPARATION and SUCCESS.
(this is post has a two-day warranty, because I cannot guarantee your success)
I usually have a different preparation strategy for each year. The first one was just planning out my story, which changed quite a lot over the month (October) that I took to prepare. The second year, my strategy took the whole of 2013 to prepare. I wrote a whole novel that was supposed to come before 2013’s novel, and finished only a few months before. Then I planned like a madwoman. 2014, I convinced my mom to buy me soft, soft, soft pants, a huge sweater, and warm socks.
Okay, so I’m a bit different then most writers as you can tell. Most of this is due to the fact that I live in Africa. Most seasoned NaNoWriMoers would tell you to buy pens, chocolate, energy drinks, the like.
It’s a well-known fact that I spend all my money on books, and therefore, this is for mostly broke people. If you have no money for all the things advised in other posts, do read on.
Most of w
hat you’ll need after this post, you probably already have. Yay!
Tea. Go buy tea. If you don’t like tea, get coffee, or apple cider, or hot chocolate. Tea is something my mom normally buys for me, but I suppose you might have to go get it. I recommend something fruity. My favorite is a peach-cassis tea mixed with a raspberry tea, and that really makes me write.
Research. Whether you’re writing a new genre, or continuing your usual, reading and watching books and movies that are your chosen genre WILL help. Honestly.
Find everything warm in your house and hoard it like a dragon (blankets, pajamas, hoodies, socks). If you’re going to be writing all month, you want to be comfy. I personally recommend FUZZY blankets and pajamas, BUT BE CAREFUL. That mix produces sparks (I am so not kidding).
Get a cat. Honestly, if you don’t have a cat, go get one. Cats will lighten the darkest moments of this month, and they are ANOTHER source of warmth. (if you are allergic to cats, I suggest you buy a motivational cat poster)
Download music. Get a spotify account. Get music recommendations. NaNoWriMo completely ruined me against writing without music, which is slightly good, because I now imagine every scene like a movie scene, which honestly helps my descriptions.
Take a few days to let everyone know what you’re doing this month. It will keep you accountable and also then they will stay away and let you write.
Get a really, really good pair of earphones. You will need those to drown out any and all sounds.
If you live alone, stock up the kitchen before this month-long excursion. Writing makes writers into ravenous beasts.
I can honestly tell you that I have never lost NaNoWriMo. I’ve been close to losing, but I haven’t lost. So everyone wants to ask: What’s my secret to success?
The goal for each day is only 1,667 words a day. For me, that takes about two hours. So set out two or three hours around your favorite time of day to write, and spend them writing.
Honestly, it’s the fact that I’m good at ignoring my surroundings. I have a really good pair of earphones. I have loud music.
Reward yourself. I know you’ve heard this before. Don’t go on the Internet until you’ve written that goal. And honestly, even if you write the goal and finish within the time you set aside, keep writing. EVERY EXTRA WORD HELPS.
I have a ninja for a cat who attacks any and all botherances (kind of). I have a lock on my bedroom door.
Feed your cat. Cats are friendlier when they are full of food (and less likely to eat you).
But, I think mostly, it’s the fact that I’m very, very stubborn, and I love what I’m doing. I hate to fail.
But NaNoWriMo isn’t as hugely drastic as people make it out to be. You CAN have a life and still win.
You can stay up late, but not too late. You won’t win if you’re too tired the next day to write anymore.
Good luck, y’all. Drop a comment below and let me know what YOUR strategy is. Unless you also wrote a post—then tell me the link! I want to read it! 🙂