NaNoWriMo: Practical Prep

NaNo is nearly upon us. Are you spending the weekend prepping and panicking, or is that just me? (Stage fright is a part of my life. Generally means things are going well. Don’t worry, I don’t understand it either.) Are you going to parties in fun costumes? Are you chilling out with loved ones and pets? All are valid options. We all get our “ya-yas out” in different ways.

Let’s chat a bit about simple ways to make November a bit easier.

1) Backup, save, backup: You cannot save often enough. (I love autosave, but don’t trust it entirely.) Every time I take even a short break to think over the next paragraph, I hit save. If I’m going away from the desk, I upload a copy of the file to myself in gmail. Longer breaks mean backing up to the thumb or external drive. Paranoid? I have good reason. Please avoid giving yourself good reason, too.

2) Caffeine: You may not realize just how dependent upon caffeine we wrimos tend to become. Get more than you think you’ll need. It may just be enough.

3) Easy fixing meals: While you’re getting that caffeine, wander around the store (preferably with a list) and pick up lots of supplies which make easy meals. Let the crock pot become your friend. Cold cereal or instant oatmeal for a month won’t damage your children (you mean you’re not feeding them those already?). If you have a dear spouse or friend who is willing to take your list and restock as necessary, you are blessed.

For USA wrimos: If you have someone doing your Thanksgiving shopping, be specific when you make your list. If not, you’re likely to end up with Stove Top stuffing instead of Pepperidge Farm.

4) Clean out your writing space: I was taught a clean writing space allows room for thoughts to form. Cheesy? Maybe, but it does help me. Besides – and newbies, trust me on this – your writing space will become cluttered enough throughout November. Starting with a clean slate just makes sense.

5) Timer: This little item is useful in so many ways. Timing yourself for sprints. Timing breaks. Timing powernaps. Timing homework assistance for your children. Okay, not so much the last one. Children get what time they need. You may just need a powernap after.

You’ll know the other things you may need. A freshly filled iPod, for example, and the habit of charging it whenever you take a break. Alarms to remind you to feed the pets, walk the dogs, take your medications and vitamins, pick up the kids from school. Excedrin or your own favorite headache medicine; eye drops for eye strain.

Is this starting to sound a little nuts? Maybe it is. All I can tell you is I’ve done this a few years now and knowing these things are on hand is greatly reassuring. Reassurance means at least a part of your mind is at peace. During NaNoWriMo, that’s priceless.

Write on, wrimo!


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One thought on “NaNoWriMo: Practical Prep

  1. John Ross Barnes October 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm Reply

    Get ready for a month long flurry of freaked out questions, rants, raves, theories, sobs & gnashing of teeth(and that’s just me, doesn’t even count all the other NaNo newbies)

    I always do excessive back ups

    Always keep plenty of Coffee on hand, may buy some of the Really Good stuff for incentives/treats, though I usually just drink the standard Folgers by the big plastic can.

    I wonder if anyone has thought of webcasting their NaNo experience(not me, don’t have the required technologies) Kind of like those 24hour cam sites –

    Remember to take my vitamins(I just made that one up, proud of me?)

    Now, where’s my grinder and my french press?


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