Thursday, 28 October 2010

To Do Before NaNoWriMo and How to Stay Motivated for a Month

We're only a few days away now, and it's time to get your affairs in order and prepare for a month of doing nothing but writing. So, write up a to do list and make sure to finish it before Sunday 23.59 (11.59) in order to have time to enjoy NaNo as much as possible. Things that can be on a list might be to clean (because you won't be cleaning for all of November), cook food for the freezer (because you won't be cooking for all of November either), and buy copious amounts of snacks and microwave meals (see previous parentheses). My list is more specific though, and contains posts such as (apart from the aforementioned) blogging (which I'll soon be able to cross of my list), backing up my harddrive and cleaning out my storage room.

A to do list is important in the preparation for NaNo, so don't skip this step. It's essential to be prepared both concerning what to write, but also in your private life. There will be no room for chores - finally, an excuse not to clean without feeling guilty about it!

You might also want to decide on a reward to give yourself if you finish. I have yet to decide on mine, but that's not because I can't come up with anything. There are way too many things I want! I'll probably settle on buying myself a telezoom lens for my camera. The reward is important when your motivation fails (and it will, 50,000 words isn't child's play). Also, chocolate is good for motivation. This leads me to my next tip: food! Every time you feel that you cannot write a single word, yet haven't reached your planned word count, eat something! It doesn't matter what you eat, as long as it's something. I like Pringles (and other) chips/crisps, chocolate, cookies, grapes (yes, I can eat healthy stuff as well), anything that's about bite size and doesn't make my hands dirty.

Now, if neither a reward nor food help, then I'm afraid there is only one thing left: Write or Die. I've mentioned this in a previous post on writing resources. You set a time and write, and each time you stop writing something bad will happen. If this doesn't make you write, nothing will and you're a lost cause. Just go to bed and wake up with fresh motivation the next day. Sometimes you have to put your work aside and let your brain deal with it while you're doing something else.

Now, I will probably write a short post on Sunday before NaNo starts, and then you'll have to make do without me until I've finished my 50,000 words. Blogging is one of the things I am going to give up for NaNo, along with FarmVille (yes, I play FV) and, you know, my life. So I'll say this now, in case I'll forget: Good luck and may the force, NaNo gods and your muse be with you!

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