It’s October, meaning many writers are turning their thoughts to NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month) starting November 1st, when they will attempt to write 50,000 words in a month.
NaNoWriMo is a great time to lock up your internal editor and let creativity take the wheel.
But unfortunately for most writers, it can be a time of disappointment, because while hundreds of thousands of folks step up to the NaNoWriMo plate, near as I can tell, only around 15% actually finish. And that’s a big bowl of sadness, if you ask me, especially as it’s often preventable.
Two Big Reasons Why Writers Quit
1. Sometimes life fish-slaps them in the face. An emergency crops up, or something unexpected comes along, and their time needs to be reallocated. Other times, already-overloaded writers decide to participate and discover they just can’t manage it along with everything else.
2. The writer loses track of where the story should go. When writers struggle too long with the “what happens now” question, they lose that forward momentum, start to doubt themselves, and fall out of love with the story. As those calendar dates pass with lackluster word count totals, catching up begins to feel impossible, or the story becomes too much of a mosh pit mess. So, they give up.
Most fall into this second category, but this doesn’t have to be anyone’s fate. So how do we avoid it? We prep, of course!
Prepping is for Plotters & Panters
No matter where you are on the plotter-or-pantser spectrum, you want to sit down on November 1st and feel good about having your fingers on the keyboard. The heady excitement of NaNoWriMo won’t last if the words dry up, so it’s best to make sure you’ve done everything you can to feel ready to create.
The two big types of NaNo prep we want to think about are Life Prep and Story Prep. Taking care of these in October is a super smart move.
The Ultimate NaNoWriMo Prep Guide
If you’d like some help getting ready, Becca and I have created an Ultimate NaNoWriMo Prep Guide for you!
Recently we poured our story-wired brains into a powerful Storyteller’s Roadmap at One Stop for Writers, a step-by-step plan to guide you from a story idea to a publish-ready novel. Obviously a big part of that journey is getting everything in place to write, so this special NaNoWriMo guide tackles some areas both Pantser and Plotters may wish to prep (and how to do so).
Make the most of your Preptober. We’re cheering you on!