Preparing for NaNoWriMo 2015 + useful resources

Things you need for a successful NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again; NaNoWriMo is almost here!

In case you’ve never heard of NaNoWriMo before, it stands for National Novel Writing Month – though it really is quite the international affair now. Every November, writers from across the globe all pledge to try and complete the first draft of a story by writing 50,000 words.

That might seem like a lot of words, and it is, but it’s not if you can break it down and keep on top of your daily word count.

This will be my fourth year taking part in NaNoWriMo, and for the first time I am going into this pretty prepared.

My preparation for NaNoWriMo began back at the end of July when I was in Sweden. I was struck by a story and had to race out to get a notepad to begin plotting it all down. Since then, I’ve been developing my characters, and letting the plot ruminate in my head.

I’m really excited to start, and I’m hopeful that I’ll manage to stay on top of my word goal. Last year, I think I finished with a couple of days to spare, but this year with university, work, and blogging, it’s going to be a tight fit. I’m just going to have to manage my time well.

Want to take part? There’s still time. Head over to the NaNoWriMo website for more information and to sign up.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, here is a quick list (I go into more detail in the links below) about the things I’ve found vital for completing NaNoWriMo

  • Somewhere to make notes – whether that’s your phone, your laptop, or a notebook. Ideas can strike you at the weirdest times (usually while I’m driving) so have something handy to get the idea down before it runs off.
  • A playlist – music that inspires you, and that you can write to.
  • Plentiful food and drink is necessary for those long stints.
  • Stickers! I have found stickers to be invaluable. I reward myself with a sticker whenever I reach my daily word goal, and it’s amazing what you will do for a sticker at 23 years old.
  • A NaNoWriMo account – I wouldn’t have completed it once if I hadn’t got a NaNoWriMo account, purely because it allows me to update my word count and see graphics and statistics about how I’m doing.
  • Something fun to read – sometimes you just need a break from writing, and maybe a little inspiration, so I like to re-read one of my favourite books.

Last year, I put together a couple of blog posts about NaNoWriMo that go into more detail about the above, throw in a few more ideas, and a couple of links to some really useful documents and forums.

Want to be writing buddies? Here’s my NaNoWriMo profile.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? Have you got any tips to share?

  • Yay! Thank you so much for the tips and ressources. They will definitely help.
    I signed up in 2008 but 2015 will be the first time I actually give it a go! I’m both excited and nervous.

    • Yay! That’s how I feel every year, especially nervous this year about how I will find time. Keep me updated with how you’re doing 🙂

  • Good luck Rosie! I am not participating this year but I am looking forward to hearing all about your progress.

    • I’ll do a couple of posts about how it’s going, might do a weekly one.

  • Oh man, I’m so incredibly excited for NaNo this year! I love everything about it: the added motivation, the forums, the excitement; EVERYTHING. The atmosphere in general just gets me so pumped to knock out a novel. Just a few more hours until it starts here…

    I actually haven’t made a dedicated novel playlist before, and honestly, I don’t know why. I’m putting one together now, so hopefully it’ll help me really capture the vibe I’m going for in my story! Also, this idea of stickers is SO SMART. I’m going to go buy a cute pack off Etsy, haha. I was just planned to check off days on my wall calendar, but I think stickers will be far more motivating.

    Thanks for the tips! Hope NaNoWriMo is awesome for you this month. <33

    • I think it’s really cool knowing that there are thousands of people taking on the same challenge as you. Oh, stickers are so useful! A tick is just a tick, but I will work hard for a cool dinosaur sticker.

      How did day one go for you?

  • I’m doing NaNo this year too! I wrote half of the story in notebooks this summer and now I’m typing it up while listening to a playlist! Then I’m going to keep writing the story! So excited about it this year!