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NaNoWriMo is not for everyone. And that is okay! However, if you want to give it a try, or you’ve been successful in the past and are eager to give it another go, you need to be prepared.
Success is unlikely, if not impossible, without a good plan. To help you plan and prepare for a Nano win, I wanted to share some of the top resources for NaNoWriMo I’ve used.
If you are not participating in NaNo, these resources can still be useful in your day to day writing routine.
Top Resources for NaNoWriMo Preparation
This Writer’s Notebook with movable pages and templates covering a wide range of writer topics such as plot, character development, setting, good words, novel titles, etc. This can be very helpful as you outline and plan during NaNoWriMo. Keep all your thoughts and notes organized so you can focus on churning those words out!
This is a planner for writers, and it is amazing! It’s great to plan important elements of your story and included calendars help you keep track of your word count. Tracking your word count will come in handy during NaNoWriMo, and you can keep track of important story details. The Write Mind Planner uses the same technology as StoryNotes, so if you order the planner, you could also get StoryNotes add-ons.
This is a great planner because it enables you to keep your normal life and your writing life in harmony. It includes project outlines with space to record basic outlines, themes, characters, and setting. It also has character pages where you can develop your characters in more detail. Perhaps the most useful page for NaNoWriMo is the project goals page. You can record deadlines and rewards, both of which can be super helpful when preparing for NaNoWriMo
*Check out more detail on these awesome planners.
While I recommend absolutely every episode of this podcast, this one is perfect for NaNoWriMo. She gives 30 tips, one for each day of NaNo. Such a motivational, and encouraging podcast. A great listen to prepare for NaNo, and to keep going any time during the month.
If you already use Scrivener, you know what a great resource it is for writing. It can be extra helpful during NaNoWriMo if you want to organize your outline and make sure you have enough to write each day. NaNo is a lot of writing, so you want to have the software that will help you the most. For many writers, that means Scrivener. If you are unfamiliar with Scrivener, you can learn more in my Scrivener Series.
With the craze of NaNoWriMo, you absolutely have to plan your writing time. Whether you plan when you will write for the whole month, or a week at a time, or a day at a time, it is crucial to take a moment and figure out when you will set aside that writing time. 50,000 words in a month works out to about 1,667 words a day. So be prepared to set aside enough time to write. If you know you have a few days that are busier, or a few days that are less packed, plan accordingly. Maybe you will write 3,000 words some days and 1,000 other days. But it is good to have a schedule for when you will write, and a basic understanding of how you will pace your word count.
Tips for When You Don’t Want to Write
There will come days when you may not want to write. Without a plan for those days, you may stop writing or take a few days off. But if you know those days will come, and you know what to do when they hit, you will be much more likely to find success. So, as NaNo approaches, create a written list of what you can do to keep yourself motivated when you feel like you don’t want to write. Check out my favorite ideas if you need a little inspiration.