1. Create a novel at nanowrimo.org
It is 100% true that you will not be able to win if you don’t even create a novel. So go over to the nanowrimo website and sign up and join the party! For me, the most troublesome part of creating a novel is naming it. I can’t tell you how many of my nano-projects in the past have been named WIP for the first few days before I’ve been able to come up with something more fitting.
2. Stock your pantry
This is important! Do not underestimate the importance of good snacks. A tasty candy bar or a nice cup of tea can easily be used as bribes for you to write 500 more words. I personally prefer popcorn but whatever rocks your goat and increases your creative process- go for it.
3. Find nano-friends on social media
Maybe you are like me and don’t know anyone IRL who does nano but still want to discuss and talk about the process and problems that crawls upon us as the month progress. Use social media, there are literally millions of people doing nanowrimo and a majority of those spend a lot of time on the internet (procrastination anyone?). Join a facebook group, find friendly nanowrimos on twitter or subscribe to fellow nano-writers on youtube.
4. Visit the nanowrimo forum
You can basically find whatever you are looking for at the nanowrimo forums. Maybe you need a small pep talk from a fellow nanowrimo or you want to talk about your annoying sub character who can’t seem to shut up. I usually spend my times at the adoption society forum for some out of the box ideas or to get a name for the neighbors cat.
5. Make a playlist
Some people like to write in silence and that’s totally fine but I have found that I work better with music in the background. Maybe you want to add music your main character would listen to or music that fits the mood of the story. I usually make a playlist with songs I’m into at the moment and that fits the story, in lyrics or music.
6. Tell someone you’re doing nanowrimo
This will make your dedication to the project reach a whole new level. Because no one wants to admit defeat when your parent/bf/gf/bff asks how the writing is going. And if you don’t want to spill the nanowrimo beans to a close one, why not use your newly acquired friends on various social media sites.
7. Get a halo
“A halo?” you ask excitedly. I know, sounds awesome, right? Basically you can get a halo by donating to the nanowrimo cause. Nanowrimo is a non-profit organization who runs on donations and does a lot for aspiring writers all over the world. Not everyone has the money to spare and that’s totally fine. But if you think the nanowrimo-crew are doing a great job why not consider donating 10 bucks. And as a bonus you’ll get a halo!!! Yay!
8. Get yourself a 50000 word bribe
Not all of us can reach the finish line on pure dedication and stubbornness but needs a bribe or two to get there. This is totally fine. Find something you really want but for some reason haven’t acquired or done yet and make that your bribe for reaching 50000 words. My second year of nanowrimo I promised myself to buy Scrivener if I successfully managed to reach 50000 words, 5 years later and it’s still my go to program during writing.
9. Identify your procrastination techniques
It will happen and there’s no point telling yourself otherwise. The important thing is recognizing what your procrastination is. Maybe you are one of those freaks who cleans the house or maybe you become a master chef all of a sudden. Procrastination is totally fine and totally normal, but at one point you need to realize that your bathroom does not need a scrub down since you cleaned it yesterday. I usually procrastinate with TV-shows and I have learned to use them as daily bribes for writing.
You wont be able to get very far if you don’t commit. So as you start this crazy project visualize yourself at the finish line and believe in yourself and your ability to write a novel. In no time at all it will be the 30th of November and you’ll have written 50000 words!
If you’re doing nanowrimo, tell me what you’re preparations look like for this crazy month to come.