Preptober. You see it everywhere. Or maybe I see it around because I am deep into YouTube for a project.
October precedes November, aka National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). And now, the 31 days is the time to prep your space, your mind, your calendar, and your novel outline for November.
For me, preparing for November has always been a goal but never a reality. This year I invested in setting the groundwork.
I attended a workshop with the Silicon Valley RWA about preparing for Nano, and the presenter, Alexis M. Roark, framed NaNo in a new way.
“Go Your Own Way” was the theme of that talk. (Cue the Fleetwood Mac song here.) It’s okay not to write. It’s okay to do research or plotting and planning. It’s okay to chunk out time rather than words. I’m a big believer in the QTP factor I learned in the Write Better Faster workshop with Becca Syme. Question the premise. Check to see if what you’re being asked to do makes sense to you emotionally and physically. Everything doesn’t work for everyone. Everything can’t work. We aren’t cookie cutters, and the advice we get from pundits, best selling authors, and others may not gel with your contexts (life, job, family, social obligations, etc.).
For me, this means that I remade NaNo into something that works for me. I’m doing a hybrid NaNoWriMo. This Nano about new words to finish and new ideas to plot.
During October, I prepared the things I need from November 1 to November 31:
- A community — I’m trying to draft a cozy mystery in Nano and revise a holiday romance novella. I’m in a screenwriting class, so I expect to prepare pages each week. I have signed up for the NaNo challenges offered by RWA and SiNC.
- A plan — I have two blocks (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.) and (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.) dedicated to writing. Throughout the day, I do other challenges.
- A goal — at least 30 minutes a day of writing and thinking and at least 500 new words a day per project
- Paper — I’m going old school and using up my notebooks.
- Lip balm
- A clean office or at least a clean desktop
- Note cards for outlining and notes
- Timer for Pomodoro sprints
Wish me luck! (It’s Day One of NaNoWriMo, and I have pushed out 1,667 words. Let’s hope this energy continues. I have things to write.) Are you doing NaNo this year? Let me know what you are focusing on this month.