It's Halloween, which means it's Writer's Eve! (Also known as NaNoWriMo.) I'm sure most of you have either heard of it, participated in it, or signed up for it by now, but let's do a quick recap in case we missed anyone.
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's a one-month writing challenge in which you write a novel as quickly and unprecisely as your fingers will allow while you ignore family, friends, household chores and, sometimes, hygiene.
It starts tonight at midnight (for some of our international friends, it's already started) and my excitement has been rising with the hour. I'm foregoing a "novel" this year and instead writing 50,000 words of short stories. After procrastinating and not planning through all of October, I woke up this morning with ideas bursting from my brain.
How about you? Are you frantically filling up your notebook with last-minute ideas? Is the pantry stocked with sugar-crash-inducing snacks? Has everything been in place and ready to go for months?
No matter how or where you'll be writing your 50,000 words of literary glory, just remember these three things:
Take NaNoWriMo seriouslySee this thing through. Make writing goals and stick to them. Be willing to sacrifice time, energy, and sleep. Ignore your Inner Editor. Keep going, even when it seems pointless.
Don't take NaNoWriMo seriouslyLet's face it: writing a novel in a month is crazy. So just go with the flow. The last sentence you wrote might be the worst thing you've ever put to paper. It's okay. This endeavor is meant to free you to write what's inside. You can edit (or burn) your unruly prose next month.
You can do thisReally, you can. Know why? Because you've done it before. How many times have you told a crazy story to your best friend? Gossiped with your coworkers? Spun an exaggerated tale of the HUGE fish you caught last week? Humans are great at telling stories. All you're doing this month is putting them to paper.
If you're still not convinced, don't panic. I've got you covered. Take a look at the following links, hash out the last bit of your plot (or feel free to ignore it until the last minute), and start the count down!
How To Do This
NaNoWriMo's Map to November
How to Write a Novel in a Month
NaNoWriMo Resource Links
The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot
Notecarding: Plotting Under Pressure
Behind the Name
Scrivener (free trial!)
Write or Die by Dr. Wicked
Pinterest (use as an idea board)
WriteTrack (a word tracker program)
Spotify (NaNo playlisting)
Dropbox (back up your novel!)