There isn’t a floatation device big enough.
Let’s do everyone’s favorite “Don’t” (because I’m a rebel like that) and start with a cliche: It’s time to sink or swim.
Well, even though I have a feeling I’m going to sink, I’m giving NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) another shot this year.
November is the worst. Between Open Enrollment (in the sunlight hours, I work for a Medicare insurance company), Thanksgiving, birthdays, and this year, a brother’s wedding, November is the absolutely the dumbest month of the year to take on a 50k-word challenge.
But I’m going to participate in NaNo anyway.
Why? 1) I have a book idea that I’m dying to dive into. I’ve been outlining it and putting together character sketches for months, and I just can’t wait any longer to start the drafting process. 2) I love the energy of NaNo. That’s probably the best thing about this challenge—the writers cheering one another on. I don’t feel that same level of support any other time of the year.
So yes, I have a feeling I’m going to end up drowning this year, but that’s not going to stop me from giving NaNo a chance.
My “plans” to stay afloat
I thought I’d share a little behind the scenes on how I have been (and currently am) prepping for NaNoWriMo.
1) The most important thing I’ve done is work on my novel’s outline for the past couple of months. I’ve spent time developing my characters, creating the plot, designing vision boards to help me “see” what my characters, the setting, clothing, ect., and directing the magic rules of my new world. I know there are people who prefer to start writing the first day of November without a plan, but if I have any chance at staying sane this year, I’ve got to have a plan. No writing blindly this time around. I already know the story is going to be awesome (just saying), which helps motivate me, and I’m going to need A LOT of motivation :)
2) I’ve got a Word document formatted and ready to have scenes inserted into it, so I can write out of order if I need to without confusing myself. I’ve heard Scrivener is a great program for this, but my Word technique has always worked for me, so there’s not since trying to learn something new in the middle of such a crazy month.
3) I am planning to cut almost everything else from my life during November. Obviously, I can’t give up working, sleeping, and cleaning, but I won’t be blogging, spending (much) time on social media, running promotions, marketing, watching TV...I’m basically cutting everything but the necessities.
4) Finally, I’ve created a schedule and routine to get me through the next six weeks. I’m starting this routine now, so by the time November 1st shows up, I’ll be ready. Currently, in place of “Write novel,” in my schedule, I’m continuing to work on my outline for the same amount of time it’ll take me to reach my daily word count goal.
Am I crazy? Yup. Absolutely. Oh, well, right? I love writing. I love telling stories. And I love my crazy life. My characters’ worlds get turned upside down all the time—seems only fair I experience the same every now and then ;-)