Thinkin’ About: NaNoWriMo ’17.


It’s that time again. (Or, almost that time again?) It’s that time of year when thousands of writers all around the globe start thinking about putting as many words down as they can during the month of November as part of National Novel Writing Month. So, predictably, I’m thinking about it too.

Last year was a total bust. There were just too many things going on in my life, and I think I wrote less than 500 words that whole month. But I think I have a real shot this year. There are three main things that I am doing differently this November in my latest attempt to win NaNoWriMo—and, more importantly, write a novel.

First: Unlike last year, when I had a new job, a visiting friend, and Thanksgiving and its associated travels to contend with, this year I have nothing but time. (Well, of course there’s still Thanksgiving and travel for that, but that’s normal.) This year I’m working a different job, one that affords me plenty of free time in front of a computer—time I’m hoping to use as dedicated NaNoWriMo-ing time. Even if I can’t turn off the internet (which I need for work), I’m making a NaNo Resolution™ to ignore social media (at least until after I’ve hit my daily wordcount) and I might even go so far as to delete the apps from my phone.

Second: I’m doing a lot more planning this year. I always say I’m going to plan, but then I don’t. So this October, I’m working on that. I’m not going so far as to write an outline (hah, have you met me?), but I am creating character sketches (not actual artwork, though that would be a really cool way to prep) and even briefly jotting down scenes. Hopefully this means I’ll at least have things like names for these characters and a general starting point by the time I start writing…

Third: Lately I’ve been feeling like I don’t have anyone to talk to about writing—mine, or theirs. Writing can be a solitary endeavor, but it also doesn’t have to be. Talking about my writing really helps me to work out ideas, to figure out things that will work or realize that some things won’t. So this coming November I’m going to go to as many write-ins as I can. This is both an attempt to make some friends—something I haven’t really done since moving to Colorado over a year ago because hello social anxiety—and an attempt to find some people who I can write with, and talk about writing with.

So far that’s my plan. Even better, so far I have been sticking to it.

What are you doing for NaNoWriMo prep?

(Wow, this post has a lot of parentheses in it…)

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About Sky

I'm a: 20-something, fantasy writer, deep thought thinker, sometime knitter, bookstore browser, amateur cook, journaler, cat owner, cheap wine connoisseur, ancient and medieval history lover, occasional philosopher, avid reader, museum wanderer.
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2 Responses to Thinkin’ About: NaNoWriMo ’17.

  1. Kristi says:

    I didn’t notice the parentheses, but that’s probably because I talk and write the exact same way!

    Sounds like you’ve got things well in hand this far in advance. Best of luck to you in November!

  2. Getting involved in my local NaNoWriMo activities was one of the best things I could possibly have done! And considering that I also suffer from some social anxiety, I’m still kind of in awe that I did it.

    My NaNoWriMo region has a bunch of prep workshops going on in October, which is another great way to meet other writers. They’re done through our local libraries. If your region does something like this, I highly recommend it! I think those offer more opportunities to connect with people than the write-ins do (at least in my experience, though I admit that I rarely go to write-ins because I find them too distracting).

    Getting involved in the NaNo activities led me to the local writing group I’m now involved in, and I feel incredibly lucky to be in an area with such an active writing community. I hope yours is active as well!

    You also might want to check out Facebook writing groups. The two I’m involved in are 10 Minute Novelists (a really active group, thousands of members), and 88 Cups of Tea (a less-active but also very nice writing community centered around the podcast of the same name).

    As for focusing, you might want to check out the Forest app (https://www.forestapp.cc/en/) for your phone. You can set amounts of time to focus it plants a digital tree. If you navigate away from the app (to check social media, for example), your tree dies! It’s silly, but it does provide some incentive not to use other apps and focus. There are also computer programs that will block certain tempting websites for you, while not shutting down your whole internet. I like Focus (https://heyfocus.com/), but it’s Mac only.

    Anyway, I wish you the best of luck! 🙂

    (Sorry if this double posts, I’ve been having a fight with WordPress!)

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