Hey guys! For those of you doing Nanowrimo next week, this post is for you. For those of you that aren’t doing Nano; my words of encouragement are still for you, too!

With November fast approaching and the harried last minute notes flying, stress levels (at least in my head!) are super high right now. There is a lot of doubt, a lot of tension. Are my notes sufficient? Is my story outline cohesive? Am I going to get stuck down in the cringey, lackluster first draft? Am I going to win Nanowrimo? Can I fulfill my goals as well as my commitments to everything else in my life?

Stress less guys. Take a deep breath in, and out. It’s going to be OK. We write all the time, right? This isn’t new for us. I know some of you thrive on goals like I do (I live for ticking things off of to do lists or using small goals to tear down a big one).

Here are a few things I’ll be doing this week to prepare, and I hope they’ll help you:

  • Doing a massive tidy up. I’ll still clean a bit during November but it’s easier to work/harder to procrastinate if everything is already taken care of!
  • Having writing tools ready. This year I’ll be using Cold Turkey Writer. It’s a really nifty little program; once you start it up, you can’t use your computer at all until you’ve reached the word or time limit you set. It forces you to write and concentrate (I also work really well with smaller goals as I stated earlier, so I get immense satisfaction watching the progress bar fill!)
  • To tie in with this, I’ve made playlists ready to turn on before I open Cold Turkey so there is no messing around. I found a few pre-made ones that worked really well for Nanowrimo too. This is my main spotify playlist for Nanowrimo, a fantasy reading music playlist some kind soul made that I’m in love with!
  • I’m making a bunch of veggie soup to go in the freezer. Bam, instant easy meal for when I want to write and not think!
  • Making sure I have multiple water bottles topped up in the fridge at the start of each morning so I have plenty of cold water.
  • Food shopping: On top of actually making soup, I’ll be doing a massive shopping trip at the start of the month and buying some freezer meals, some healthy snacks, etc.
  • Reward box: I have a halloween bucket full of candy, so I get a fun sized piece for every 2k words written (my daily goal)

This is pretty much everything I have/am going to be doing to get myself all zoned for Nanowrimo. Other than list some ideas to optimize time, I also want to offer some words of encouragement. It’s OK not to win Nanowrimo. Honestly, taking time for yourself and writing at all means you’ve already won something important. Don’t stress too much about the quality; that’s what rewrites are for. Don’t worry too much either if your story strays from your notes. They tend to do that, just go with the flow and see where it takes you. Don’t let writing detract from important things like sleep, eating, and your overall physical and mental health. Most of all, and I don’t say this lightly- whatever you might be writing, actually enjoy what you’re doing. This is your work, and you deserve to have fun with it.

I can’t wait to see what everyone manages in November, and I wish you all the best of luck.

Happy writing,

Emma-Kate xoxo

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