I've seen quite a few of these “preparing” for NaNoWriMo posts around lately. I'm loving reading everyone else's suggestions, so I thought I'd write some of my own.
Not all of these suggestions will be useful for everyone (for example, some are aimed at people with kids), but hopefully most people will be able to find something useful in here.
1. Snacks – Writing (for me) requires snacks. Preferably sweet ones. So I'm planning on cooking some up the week before NaNo, to have some on hand. No doubt I'll go out and buy some too, mid way through the month, when I get desperate, but if I have some planned beforehand, it will help. I'm going to try for marshmallows, and maybe some brownies?
Oh all right, if you must, you can plan some healthy snacks too. I like chewing on green beans and grapes. Things that you can eat with one hand while you type with the other!
2. Plan your opening scene – I'm more of a pantser than a plotter, but I don't like going into NaNo with NO idea what I'm writing, or were I'm going to be starting. So I like to brainstorm out some general plot ideas, and at least the first scene.
If you're more of a plotter, then definitely, go all out plotting!
3. Make a cover – I love making covers for my books, and having the cover ready and done helps inspire me when I'm struggling. Print it out and hang it up on your wall if necessary! Even if it ends up changing as the story changes, having something to start with can inspire you.
4. Make some friends – Check out your regional forums and the different groups, add some buddies, convince your friends to do NaNo too. Post about it on your blog, your twitter, your facebook, and get as many people cheering for you as possible. The more people you've told about your goal, the less likely you'll be to pull out when the going gets tough.
5. Find some distractions for your kids – Buy them a new computer game or TV series. Or even a book. Better yet, convince them to sign up for NaNo, so they can write along side you. (My 9yo is doing that for the first time this year, super excited!)
6. Find some distractions for your husband/partner/significant other – Most if the ideas above will probably work!
7. Get mobile – Sometimes, you won't be at home when inspiration hits. If you can, prepare some way to be able to write on the move. A laptop is great, but if you don't have one (I don't), you can make do with an ipad, a smart phone, or even a pen and paper if you're desperate!
9. Stock up on sleep – I don't know about you, but for me, I'm at my most productive when I'm up before everyone else in the house. On a good day, I can tap out 2500 words before anyone else is awake. But over time, this takes it's toll. I plan to make sure I get plenty of rest in the days leading up to NaNo, so that I can start fresh and ready to go!
10. Remember, all words are good words – Lock your inner editor in a box, and don't let them out. Start practicing now. (It might take you a while to find the best way to keep them restrained.) I like to remind mine that she's free to throw all my words out at the end of the month if she still wants to, but for now, she needs to shut up.
I could go on, but I'm going to leave it there. (For now, maybe I'll post some more next week.) I'll be posting about NaNoWriMo each Saturday for October and November, so if you're doing NaNo too, add me to your buddy list, and check back each week!
Do you have any good tips to prepare for NaNo? Are you excited yet? Any plans on what you'll be writing?