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Preparing for #NANOWRIMO

As the year winds down we enter #NANOWRIMO. That last push for authors to finish the novel we all want to read. While many of you plan to participate in #NANOWRIMO my question to you is are you really ready? Tomorrow is the day and while you might have your keyboard warmed up, have you really prepared?

Before sitting down to write I have some simple tips to clear your space and your head. Tips that will allow you to get the most out of your writing time.These are things I do whenever I’m sitting down with the intent of accomplishing a big goal.

1. Prepare your space. That means clean it up and clean it off. A clear workspace helps clear the head. It also gives you fewer distractions. Remove all of those things that will become easy distractions while writing. Pay any and all unpaid bills, hide your PTO to-do lists and any materials from the day job. Even better, finish off those things you can today so tomorrow you can write with a clear head.

2. No, I mean really clean. That means vacuum, pull out the Swiffers, wipe off the keyboard and the monitor. Get it clean, shiny and smelling nice because nothing inspires you more than when it’s all clean and ready to go.

3. Time block your writing time. Sit down and mark off however many hours you plan to write each day. Don’t wait until tomorrow to do this, but plan your entire month out now. Sit down with your calendar so you know what you have planned and add your writing in. Your writing time is a meeting that’s just as important as the one you have with your boss, your kid’s teacher, or your best friend’s crisis. Nothing comes in the way of your writing time and everyone will know this. That means phones get shut off, and everything else will have to be scheduled around it. And let people know. Let your family know, let your friends now, let everyone know that between the hours of blah-and-blah you will be working. No interruptions. Even for blood.

4. Set the stage. Set out everything you need for your writing. Fill a pitcher of water and place it next to your favorite glass, start the coffeepot, sharpen your pencils, and light your favorite candle. Whatever you need to set the stage for your writing do it. Make sure everything is done before you even sit down at your desk.

4. When it’s time to finally write, take 15 minutes to clear your head. Close your eyes, breath deep and take in the silence. This is part of getting your head into the next part of your day. Then write. Write without judgment and write with joy. Just write.

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One comment

  1. I love this list and think it should apply to writing all the time, not just Nano.

    Not Nano-ing myself. Bad time of year for the southern hemisphere. November covers 4 of the last 6 weeks of the school year and days are warming and getting longer. All this equals *lots happening*, which makes writing time harder to find. But I am still hoping to write lots of words, just without the pressure. Good luck to everyone who has signed up!

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