How I’m Prepping for NaNo 2021

Wow. It has been a hot minute since I posted to my blog. So much has happened in the last five or six months. We’ve just come out of a four-month lockdown here in Sydney, Australia, which has me thinking that it’s still June. Did anyone else feel like time just stood still while they were in lockdown? I’m almost expecting to feel the wintery chill when I go for my morning walk and am pleasantly surprised by the warm spring air.

In other events, I’m pregnant with twins (!!!). Lockdown couldn’t have come at a better time than when I needed to sprint to the toilet bowl and throw up my breakfast, lunch and dinner. I will freely admit that the first trimester was rough and partially the reason that I stopped posting anything. I couldn’t write, read, think or eat, which is no surprise when my body was starting to grow not one, but two little humans.

And with my toddler’s second birthday, a slew of catch up social events and getting ready for Christmas, you might ask me why the heck I’m trying to torture myself with yet another obligation this month.

Well, reader, that’s because I work best under pressure until I crack. I’m hoping that this month will be an example of me at my productive best without progressing to the meltdown tears. With so much going on this year, my writing has taken a backseat and I’ve found it so hard to get back into it.

Enter: NaNoWriMo.

This is the perfect opportunity for me to get back into a writing groove, embrace inspiration and start actually hitting some targets. Who knows – maybe this year my project will turn into a finished product. I’m going to be working on a Young Adult idea that I’ve had stewing for a while. It’s something a little different for me, but I’m excited to finally get the ideas out.

To prepare for November I have been:

Reading

I’ve been re-reading some of my favourite books and reading some YA fiction to get me in the mood for teen drama, high school heart throbs and a little bit of angst. Choosing a mix of books that I’ve read before and new titles has helped to inspire me.

I’ve also been reading Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody to help me to think about the structure of my novel. Last year’s NaNoWriMo, I was definitely a pantser because I decided to switch my project at the last minute. This year, I’m trying to be a little more of a plotter so my story has more of a shape than last year’s.

Outlining

Speaking of saving the cat, I have been doing something that I didn’t do last year: outlining! I’ve been using the Save The Cat beat sheet to outline the main parts of my novel. Last year, I had a general idea of where I wanted my story to go. Let’s just say that while I got a lot of content that wasn’t necessarily bad, it’s going to take a lot of editing to get it to where it needs to be. I’m hoping that by properly outlining, I’ll at least have the main structure done well.

Listening

Music really inspires me to write. Every song is a short story. This year I have been listening to country music and road trip songs. I don’t have a particular playlist, I just pop on whatever YouTube has lined up for me.

Getting things done

I’m trying to get as much done in these last few days of October that I can. I have a beta read and edit to finish, emails to respond to, events to plan and Christmas presents to buy. I’m trying to get as much done before November so that the time I’ve allotted to working on my writing can actually be used for working on my writing.

Getting into a good routine is paramount for success and this year, I’m hoping to continue that routine past November until these babies arrive. I feel more inspired in the morning, so I’ll be looking to get the majority of my day’s word count done before breakfast.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Do you want to be buddies? Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “How I’m Prepping for NaNo 2021

  1. I think your last point is the most key here. We can do every peripheral task for our writing, but in the end, it’s just a matter of getting things done—specifically our writing. Wishing you all the best!

    Like

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