So you want to do Nanowrimo

As there are quite a few people in my circle who are doing Nanowrimo for the first time, I thought I would share what I’ve learned in my more-or-less ten years’ experience. This is nothing new, I’m sure, but in case you haven’t looked at the Newbie’s forum or read No Plot? No Problem! yet, here you go.

Before November
Do any major housework/laundry/grocery shopping that needs doing, because you will want the free time next month.
Stock up on snacks and simple-to-prepare food. Remember to get healthy snacks, not just chocolate. Baby carrots, cheese and crackers, and apple slices are always a good idea.
Let people know you will not be available for anything that will cut into your writing time.
Pack your inner editor away. Do not let the inner editor out until December.
Figure out your writing software. Due to wordcount weirdness between programs, it’s a good idea to use the same one all through the month so you’re not surprised by your total come November 30th.

During November
Sit up straight.
Use an ergonomic keyboard if possible.
Think about what you’re going to write before you start a writing session. I guarantee the writing will go faster if you have an idea, no matter how vague, of what you want to accomplish today.
Attend a write-in or two if there’s a Nanowrimo group in your area. They are, by and large, fun and supportive. You’re all in this together.
Reward yourself. A piece of chocolate for every 100 words, seeing a movie when you reach a major milestone, buy schwag from the Office of Letters and Light, that sort of thing.
Donate to the site.
Back up often, at least once a week. (Many people do it daily. Disasters do happen.)

After November
After you validate your word count, there are rewards to collect. Yay rewards!
Go to your region’s Thank God It’s Over party.
Put your MS away for a bit before you decide what to do with it, whether you’re going to edit it for submitting or you’re just going to bask in your accomplishment. It will be better than you remember when you do go back.

As ever with my advice, ignore or use as you like.

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