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  • Karina Sokulski

NaNoWriMo Prep: Being a NaNoWriMo Writer

September ends this week and all I can think about is how November is right around the corner. That's right, starting tomorrow, October 1st, we'll only have 31 days to get ready for NaNoWriMo!

I've won NaNoWriMo twice, but it never gets any less nerve-wracking. What definitely made the difference when it came to meeting my goals, was preparation. Lots and lots of it...say, 31 days worth. No, don't worry, October prep-work isn't literally 31 days of putting yourself through hell just to do it again in November. This month is about more than just waiting to pump out 50 thousand words, its about honing your skills as a writer. November's just the month where you actually put the work you do in October to work.

October is about spending a month coming up with writing goals and spending time in self-reflection. It almost sounds religious doesn't it? Even so, it's true. One of the most important parts of preparing for NaNoWriMo is obviously the plan you make of what those 50,000 words you're intending to generate are going to focus on. There is another element to NaNoWrimo that is equally important, however, that I personally think is the more important piece that guarantees you a NaNoWriMo win.

Here's where I go back to that self-reflection I was talking about. The best way to tackle this is to start with the most important question you have to ask yourself. Are you a NaNoWriMo writer? Well, let's start with an easier one. Are you a writer? The answer is obviously yes and you clearly have the full intention of embarking on your own NaNoWriMo challenge this year. So are you a NaNoWriMo writer?

You don't have to have a single win under your belt to say yes. The win is nice, but its not about proving that you can type 50,000 words in 30 days. Its about pushing yourself as a writer, what shortcomings you have when it comes to discipline, training yourself to last longer when you sit at your keyboard and dedicate yourself more to your writing. This challenge is about improving yourself as a writer, but the month before is about opening yourself to do so.

To be a NaNoWriMo writer, you must be open to self-discipline, self-acceptance and even meditation.

The current draft of your story not going the way you want? That's ok, keep going! Sometimes the best ideas come from some that start out on a not-so-great leg. Haven't been able to write this week? That's ok, but are you putting enough time aside for it? (Present company fully admits to making the poor decision of watching her favorite anime shows while writing) Thinking of ways to improve your writing? Perfect! Don't forget that it's ok that you're not perfect right now. There's no way you should be. (Present company fully admits to not being a perfect writer right now.)

So in this month of October, don't go buy a notebook because you desperately need something to write your notes down on. Reward yourself with a brand new notebook because your note taking will lead to a better future for your writing. Don't bully yourself over having writer's block right now, go buy yourself a pack of delicious tea and stalk up on your favorite desk top snacks and get to figuring out what your goal is in November.

Need help with that, too? No worries! This blog will be sharing plenty of posts to get you ready for NaNoWriMo because part of being a NaNoWriMo writer is also being eager to help out your fellow NaNoWriMo writers.

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