Getting ready for NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo CrestSo, as some of you may now, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Also known as “National Write Your A$$ Off Month.”

As a copywriter by trade, NaNoWriMo isn’t constantly on my radar. In fact, I usually only remember that it’s coming up in October, when everyone else starts talking about it.

Last year, I read somewhere that the point of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 and that even if you don’t come up with something useable, you’ve at least proved that you can write 50,000 words and finish a novel in a month, thus breaking that mental barrier that keeps you from finishing a novel in the first place.

Hey, I can work with that.

That was last year. This year I keep reading that it’s best to (*eek!*) prepare for this literary marathon.

Huh…wha…whutty-what?! Prepare?

Because if you don’t have anything reasonable to edit with when you’re done, you risk ending up with an unpolish-able turd of a book that will consume your writer’s soul.

B-b-b…but what happened to the whole “mental barrier” thing?

Again, that was so last year.

So, having once again successfully put off my own NaNoWriMo experience another year, I’m behind the curve.

Here’s where I turn into a good little hypocrite who cheers you on as you turn yourself inside out writing 50,000 in November. (I’m a hypocrite, but I’m a hypocrite willing to wave pom-poms for you.)

Without further ado, some resources to help you slog your way through NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month: If you’re going to do this, you should already have this site but in case you don’t, here you go.

Kristen Lamb’s Blog: Kristen Lamb, author of We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and a C.E.O. of WANA International, is currently dishing some great advice on feeding your muse and getting fit for the marathon that is NaNoWriMo. Start with Training Lean, Mean, Writing Machines. Good info. Check it out.

Melora Johnson’s Muse: I haven’t dug too deeply into this writer’s blog yet, but she’s posted a snazzy calendar, meant to help real people and real writers schedule out their writing month. Daily word counts, inspirational quotes — and a day close to the end marked “DON’T PANIC.” Plus how to Chart Your Characters for NaNoWriMo and other helpful articles that I’ll probably be checking out when I finally get off my tail to do this myself.

Karen Woodward: Another writer’s blog I haven’t fully explored yet, but she does offer more advice in her post Getting Ready For NaNoWriMo.

Now that you have more basics than I do, sally forth and write you a$$ off! I’ll be in the trenches with you next year. Probably.

Over to you, are you participating this year? How are you getting ready?

17 thoughts on “Getting ready for NaNoWriMo?

    • Best of luck! I’ll be here waving some pom-poms in your honor. Let us know how it goes and if you can still feel your brain when you’re done. 🙂

  1. I used to tackle it every year. I’ve succeeded once in finishing a western romance. I didn’t write last year, in order to break a kind of “curse” that befell me. The last three years I did it, I had to move in the middle of the month. I didn’t write in NaNoWriMo at all last year because I’d just moved in October and didn’t want to jinx my stay!

    This year, although I’m already signed up, I’m not sure I’ll do it. (And not because of the “curse.”) I tend toward an almost obsessive mind-set when writing fiction. I don’t want that to derail me from my copywriting marketing and writing, especially since I’ve finally decided which direction I’m going.

    • I completely understand the obsessive mind-set thing. If you do decide to go for it, I wish you the best of luck.

      I’m not going for it this year because 1) I’m completely unprepared and 2) I’m planning my wedding and will be spending November neck-deep in tulle.

  2. I think that there’s different levels and purposes for doing NaNoWriMo. I’ve done it in the past just for fun, just to see what I could do, just to generate ideas and to actually draft a novel. This year I’m preparing as best I can so that I get the ultimate goal, something worth editing. However, like any writer’s group, there will be people at different stages in their journey with writing. It’s all good.

      • I know there is Camp Nanowrimo and you can choose to do that either in July or August – same thing as November, just less hoopla and participation. There’s also a script writing nano in spring and possibly a poetry devoted one somewhere along the line.

        • Thank you for the info. This is something I’d really like to participate in but just haven’t. Yet.

          On a side note, I’ve read through your blog a bit more and I’m really enjoying it. Lots of good information from someone who’s been there. 🙂

  3. Well, drat. I’ve contemplated this for years and finally decide that this year I would do it (not just sign up but actually write a novel). I’ve been transferred into a new position that requires a lot less ‘think’ time than my MIS position so thought I’d try my hand at writing something other than manuals. I appreciate the pom-poms! : )

  4. Alright – if you’re doing it, than I am too. I’m supposed to be working on a e-product for Dana Sitar’s writing group, but I suppose I could work on…..”The Book.” Oooo mysterious book. What could it be?

    • Me? Doing this? Not this year. Next year I’d like to, but this year I’m skipping. But hey, if you’re going to go for it, I’d love to hear about how it goes. *waves pom-poms*

  5. I haven’t decided if I’m doing yet. Like you, I only remember when everyone else starts talking about it. I know what I’ll write about if I do jump on board, but have no plan. We’ll see. I’ve got a few days to decide. Maybe if I decide I’m unsure because I’m scared of it, I’ll try it and add to the list of fears I’ve conquered!

  6. I thought this was going to be a post about how you’re ready to kick some butt! LOL, I’ll be cheering others on this year, so not ready to do this again. Maybe next year.

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