Ducks in a Row for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo preparation

Last night, I had a great conversation with writers Crys, Bonnie, and Natalie about our NaNoWriMo preparation (National Novel Writing Month). Writing is a solitary occupation. Networking with like-minded creatives enhances motivation and charges my writing drive. Committing to a writing group adds a sense of accountability when facing the demands of other jobs, family, and the distractions of horribly entertaining pursuits.

writing a story is hope NaNoWriMo inspiration Margaret Atwood

I love connecting with writers who have unique ideas and the fortitude to bring them to fruition. My NaNoWriMo buddies and I talked about how a writer needs to make the time to get their thoughts down in the absence of distractions and procrastination. Writers, new and old, are only successful when they “clock in” for the job at hand. True, some stories take a long time to write.

The expectation of completing a masterpiece in one month may not be realistic for some authors. However, the routine of daily writing that NaNoWriMo requires perfectly sets up authors for success. After all, no story will write itself.

Time management is one element that authors hone during a time limited movement like NaNoWriMo.

To that end, I told my husband that I won’t be as available for our shared TV PVR time. I’m not making a lot of social plans in November. I *still* haven’t returned to the escapism of “WoW.” Although my son now requests that I play Disney Infinity with him, he’ll be doing it on his own more often than not. For one month I can be a shitty friend/wife/parent, so to speak.

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media black holes will be practically OFF LIMITS. We all know how much time those sites suck up. Crys said she dictates during her two hour commute, then polishes the voice to speech text during the quieter moments of her day. I have tried that, but I spend so much time correcting my phone and/or computer that I can’t be bothered. I do, however, practice the dialogue I am going to write as I walk to my son’s school for home time.

For my best novel writing sessions, I’m part pantser, part plotter; a plantser according to my NaNoWriMo badge. Every writer is different in that respect. I have my themes and outline complete for The Wrath of Atticus, as well as concepts for new characters laid out. What I love about my creative process is the act of discovery as a scene translates itself on the page, or how a character’s path leads in a direction that I didn’t plan. I think, if I fully directed each moment beforehand, that I would struggle against their independence more, which certainly reflects in the writing.

Making the Time, All the Time


I’ve been lax about getting up early and writing in the early hours of the day. Although my circadian rhythm defines me as a night person, my lifestyle doesn’t allow for groggy, slow mornings. I’ll re-join the 6 a.m. writing club. Perhaps even 5 a.m., but just for this month!

As for my blog, I’m hoping to ling up several book reviews for the month. I expect some of my updating posts will be less structured and SEO relevant to save time. You’ll forgive me, right?

I’m excited, not least of which because I’ll have a majority chunk of The Wrath of Atticus completed. If I do manage to complete the book, that means that I’ll have completed two manuscripts this year. Earlier I wrote a stand alone horror which is in the process of being queried for publishing. I wrote short stories for The Ed Greenwood Group, several more for entertainment and queries, and I’m in the Author versus Author novel writing challenge.

Oh! I just realized I didn’t blog about that particular writing project yet. I’ll try to squeeze that post in before Nov. 1st!!

One other item from your friendly over-achieving author: I’m one of the authors helping launch The Vow by  Laura Daleo on Facebook, Sunday Oct. 30th. Come and join me! I am your guest host at 8 p.m. EST.

What are you doing for your NaNoWriMo preparation? What have you done for it in the past?