Somehow, Noveltiers, October has disappeared. November is now a week away, which means it’s the week before National Novel Writing Month begins. Which means you’re either scrambling to get everything done as fast as you can, or you’re sitting at your desk counting the minutes.
This week is tough. You want to start writing, but can’t. You’re a little nervous, but you’ve (mostly) convinced yourself you’re ready. You sort of want to prepare, but you’re not sure how. What do you do to get ready for 30 days of nonstop writing that doesn’t involve writing?
Here are a few things you can do. We’ll do them, too.
Don’t write any fiction (at all)
Take a deep breath! It’s going to be okay!
One of the hardest parts about the week before NaNo is dealing with how excited you are for November to hurry up and get here already. It never really goes away no matter how many times you’ve done it before. That excitement will really tempt you to write anything and everything, even though you won’t actually start your new project until midnight on the 1st.
Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. Why? Because that itch to write isn’t going to go away even after you update your word count for the first time. If you wait until Sunday morning to write, you’ll probably end up writing more on your first day than you will any other day in November—and that’s not a bad thing! Your brain isn’t going to get much opportunity to get a good rest this upcoming month, so let it rest now. Let your anticipation motivate you. Besides, you don’t want to accidentally start a new project only days before you’re going to start another one. Bad idea.
Block out two hours every day for a few mindless activities
There are a few reasons you’ll want to start doing this right away. Remember: during NaNoWriMo, you’ll have excellent writing days and absolutely awful ones. It might not take you two hours a day to write 1,667 words. Or it might take you longer. The first reason you should start blocking out time now? When November hits, you’ll already have started training yourself to block out writing time, even though you didn’t use it for writing the week before.
The second? Do something mindless with that time. Tweak your resume or rearrange your furniture or play Minecraft or something. At first you’ll feel bored and probably a little guilty for wasting two hours of your day doing nothing. But again: once November hits, you’ll have something to do with that time, and trust us, you’ll be grateful for it by then.
Read, read, read
Participating in NaNoWriMo does require some sacrifice, and reading is going to end up being one of those things you’ll have to give up for a month. So while you still have some free time (two hours every day at least), read as much as you can, while you still can.
Reading can help distract you from how badly you want to start writing (it’s going to get particularly difficult around Wednesday or Thursday, but if you can make it through that, you’ll be okay). It can also inspire you, though. Along with all the pre-NaNo excitement comes a few spells of doubt. Do I really want to do this? Do I really have time for this? YES YOU DO! And it will be worth it. That book you’re holding? Someone somewhere took the time to write that. If they can do it, so can you!
You’re almost there. It’s almost time! Are you ready? How are you gearing up for our favorite writing month?
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.