NaNoWriMo, The Preparation

20131027-225022.jpg This Friday, everything will change. Well, most things will stay exactly the same, except hopefully I’ll be writing with a greatly increased productivity. That’s right: NaNoWriMo begins in FOUR DAYS! Here’s what I did to get myself ready:

Cleaned Up My Workspace

Even though I’ve been nursing some weird dehydration all weekend (oh, the healing powers of Gatorade), I was itching to do something to prepare for NaNo. Since it’s a Golden Rule you can’t write a word down ahead of time, I instead did a complete overhaul of my desk, to get my writing area as clean and organized as it could be. (just … don’t look in any of the drawers.) I siphoned through the piles of Post-It Notes, packets of scenes I’d printed off for editing, dried out pens, and food wrappers, until I found my desk again. Then I wiped it all down with Windex (finding a couple neon-pink stains from Post-It notes that had gotten wet and will …  forever be leaving their mark) and cleared out everything except what I would need for this next month of marathon writing.

Set Out Fresh Notebooks

20131027-225307.jpg  You gotta start with brand new notebooks for NaNo! (May I suggest an official NaNoWriMo notebook by the Office of Letters and Light?) (sold out, but back in stock November 9th!) I’ve also got the Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creative Fiction on my desk, for those moments when I need a creative boost. I should put a dictionary and thesaurus up there too, I’ve got a couple pocket editions that won’t clutter up the space.

Supplied Myself with Snacks (and an Outline!)


On my printer, I’ve got a great set up: my Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild Great First Lines of Literature coffee mug full of my favorite pens, a basket with snacks, and this great magnet board I bought months ago at World Market. The board is divided into three sections, which makes it perfect for my three act plot outline! A couple weeks back, I stayed up all night plotting out the book I’m going to be NaNo-ing (book 5 of my fantasy series) — not only was it exceedingly good form to write the outline in a single sitting, so I could see how the story played out in one continuous session, but now I’ve got a chapter-by-chapter plan to keep my keyboard well exercised come November. So, that’s about it for today. Anybody out there planning on attempting NaNoWriMo this year? What’s on your desk, or in your NaNo Survival Kit? Got any snack recommendations? Please, leave a comment! 

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo, The Preparation

  1. Wow! I am in awe of your planning skills 🙂 I’m participating for the first time this year and I’m all chaos and flying by the seat of my pants once the month starts. I guess I’ll have to work on that 😉 Still, I’m glad to meet another contestant!

    Cheers, Katarina 🙂


    1. yellowhairedrobot

      Hi Katarina!

      Flying by the seat of your pants can be so much fun too. I’ve left myself a lot of wiggle room in my outline, so I can make a bunch of decisions in the moment and not be too constrained. I gotta have a plan, though, lol if I don’t have a numerated set of instructions for something, I almost always procrastinate and end up giving up. Gotta love you pantsers, though, you’re fearless!! Good luck this year 😀

      Thanks for commenting! Christina 🙂


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