So you've decided to jump in with both feet, and you want to know what you can do to help get yourself ready for the greatest writing contest going? Well you have come to the right place. Some have called me the Nano Queen, because I have won five years in a row, but more because I try to get everyone that writes to join this contest. There are some really cool badges that they've given us over the years. I hope to add 2013 to my list of accomplishments!
The Mental Preparation
I personally try not to write much a few weeks before Nano, kind of hold all of that writing steam in. Also I'm normally busy doing other things getting ready so that all works out well. You don't want to be tired when Nano starts, well, mentally tired, you want your mind fresh and ready for ideas, plots, and characters to go flying all over the place.
Though we can't be writing about our novel, we can be thinking and outlining. You may want to write down a list of characters, ideas, what kind weather will they be having, and do you have a plot in mind. You may even be one of those people that like to outline, and if so that's find. You're allowed to outline, you just can't write one word toward the Novmeber Novel you'll be entering into the contest.
These last few weeks be careful what you do. Try not to catch a cold, or throw your back out. You want to be as healthy as possible, during this month of frenzied writing. You'll want to wash your hands a lot to keep away the flu, bend with your knees and don't hurt that back. You can drink lots of juices and water to keep well in general.
You also might want to try to catch up on lost sleep, because during the month of Nano you may be burning the midnight oil, trying to keep up, or just lost int he new story idea that will by this point be wanting to be told.
You can clean the house, get some food frozen so your family does not starve while you're writing. There is laundry to get caught up on, so many things that you really need to make a list. I try to cook and clean during the last two weeks so that we all have clean clothes, and that the first two weeks I can focus on writing.
I have some frozen soup, and some canned veggies for those days when I want to write without cooking. I'm hoping to get some chips and snacks to help feed my muse. Today I'm joining in on the Truckers strike so no shopping until Monday the 14.
Children and Dogs
If you have children you might want to line up some baby sitters for Nano, talk your mother into coming over or even better having her take them for a visit. If you can't afford a sitter, write during play time or nap time. Use every minute you can, but don't keep your eyes away to long, you don't want the kids getting into something while you're lost in Nano.
When it comes to dogs and some kids, you need a good schedule so you can make sure Mommy has time to write. Laptops come in really handy for this. It's good to have a laptop set up somewhere that is a high traffic area for yourself. You will be surprised how many words you can get down between stirring supper, or washing dishes, just be sure and don't burn anything and always dry your hands. I normally place my laptop in the kitchen on the bar, and I get quite a few extra words that way. You might even want to go outside like I do in my outside office.
There always is something that goes on during Nano to cut into your writing time. It can be anything to
paying bills, to shopping, kids, dogs, husbands, the list is endless. So, what's a writer to do? Improvise! Make every minute count, lose an hour of sleep, write on the go, or use today's technology to help.
When I started doing these nano tips there was not an Iphone Ipad, etc, at least there was not for me. Now with Text to seech, and ipods you can write just about anywhere you need to. Take your Nano Novel with you to the doctor's office, to the bathroom, outside, there are so many more options. Dragon has a really great cool, free app for the iphone or ipod. It's not perfect but it might help in a pinch.
Also with Drop box you can access your work anywhere that has an internet connection. Maybe you're going to stay with your parents for the holiday, and you forgot your lap top. No worries, just be sure and activate you a dropbox account and you're all set. There will be more about dropbox in our next Nano post, in saving your work.
By the time this day roles around you should be well into your nano, and if you're a nano head like me you might even be finished with your nano. If not, this is a great time to get in some words, you say WHAT? Yes I know it's busy, but also there are those slow moments. You can write in between cooking those great meals, you can write while the guys are all watching football, or you can write while the family is napping after eating that great meal.
Again this is a great place for that text to speech app, or just using your iphone to get in some good notes for later in the day when Tony Romo is throwing that ball. Nano teaches to be invintinve with our time, with our writing, and we can take these lessons that we learn and apply them during other months in the year.
You will learn things during Nano that you did not know about yourself, and even if you don't win, you will either learn that you hate nano, or that you just love it. I think everyone will learn something useful during this month. I have learned to write when I don't have time, to write myself out on that limb that yes the story line will be better for it, and I have learned that word wars are a wonderful way to motivate. Most of all I learned that keeping my rear in that chair and my mind focused on a story is not that hard to do after all.
Still looking for more to read on Nano check my older nano post from previous years, some of the information will be repetitive some not.
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