Coffee Talk & Writers Secrets: The NaNoWriMo 2017 Edition
Hey, writers! How is it going?
I bet you’re writing and editing a storm.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of challenges lately – the biggest of which is a foot which constantly sends pain racing through my body. The way that I deal with it is like any other writer – I focus on something else.
For me, that is the world of The Divantinum Project and its characters. Yeah – if you’re not new here, you’ve heard me babble about TDP for well, forever. It’s the all-consuming project that soaks up my writing time. But the thing is, this November, I’ve dedicated to two things: (1) finishing the first novel which is in an editing stage right now, and (2) drafting Shadow’s Light: TDP Book #4, aka my NaNoWriMo project.
Yes, that means another year of NaNoWriMo! [I think I just heard half of my friends cheer and the other half groan.] I know there are mixed feelings about NaNoWriMo, but I have to admit that I’m a steadfast loyalist who writes by the seat of her pants.
In fact, to gear up for this month’s NaNoWriMo shenanigans, I cleared the decks, swept the cobwebs from the series, and refilled my entire writing bag. I was all geared up…and there are so many events which are happening this month, I felt prepared for anything. Well, anything but my foot in a boot. [Let’s not go there on that saga.]
So I am writing from the comfort of my hobbit hole…here in the Pacific Northwest while rain patters outside the window, dogs snore under the desk, and it’s nice and quiet…until a fly goes by and the Karma dog alarm goes off. We even had a few snowflakes yesterday. She barked at them too.
Can I share a few of my favorite touchpoints this prep time? I think you’ll like them.
I started NaNoWriMo in 2006 and did one novel per year – not including the many April, July, and other month frenzies I had over that time – wow. Yeah, I’ve been doing this for what feels like forever. I started as many do, with John Anealio’s fantastic song which references both writing and Dr. Who: “I Should Be Writing.”
I then moved onto an updated version of the NaNoWriMo Song by Kristina Horner.
I pulled out Stephen King’s On Writing and Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem. And then I really geeked out when I learned that Grant Faulkner wrote Pep Talks for Writers. I spoke with my writing buddies – and agreed with a few that we were going to check in with each other for mutual encouragement.
I created a list to help you focus.
How to be focused during NaNoWriMo
- Turn off all electronics that you aren’t physically using to write
- Create a soundtrack for your novel – top seven songs
- Coffee or tea – find a beverage that works for you
- Clear your workspace
- Create a door sign/door decoration that allows others to know what you’re doing and why it’s important.
- Sit your bum in the chair. Make words.
- Repeat step 6 until your arranged writing time is done.
- Rinse and repeat as often as needed
And then I created came up with an unorthodox tip list for you for NaNoWriMo.
- Pen and paper, keyboard and fingers.
- Writing buddies – you’re going to have an emergency at some point during the month. Have a writing buddy to turn to because they will be your support group when all the other normal people in your life will look at you like you’re crazy.
- Fruit and vegetables. Don’t go with junk food – be a clean eats nut who drinks her coffee and eats her salads.
- Give yourself permission to write something horrible. Because then you’re going to write with no restrictions – and you’re going to get something deeper and more interesting than you would otherwise. This means you will need to edit – and I mean a lot – but it’s worth it. Trust the panster [novelist who writes by the seat of her pants in the first draft to get the interesting stuff out].
- Keep in mind this is a first draft. This is not a finished piece. This is the first step on the path of being a writer.
- Write. Seriously – sit down and do your work. In the end, this is the only one that matters – everything else is optional.
I dabbled with the idea of how procrastination can help you be a writer, but then procrastinated on the post so it isn’t ready for this week.
I did create a list of my mobile bag:
- Container of some sort – like a messenger bag or a backpack
- Laptop, charger, and accessories
- Moleskin notebook and pens
- Post-it notes
- -Chapstick and lotion
- Water bottle
- Coffee and/or tea container
I made a “Heart of Divantinum” graphic while waiting at the doctor’s office.
Hope these little bits of information help – and I hope that you’re working on the novel that makes you happiest! Keep going, writer!