It might still be the middle of October but it's still time to start getting ready for Nanowrimo. If you're not familiar with it, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It's a great, fun way to get into the habit of the writing every day and if you start now you can really build the habit of writing into your daily life.
Now, why start prepping now? Well, even if you are a pantser (you don't outline beforehand) there are still a ton of ways you can start now to give yourself the best chance for success. Now these tips are going to be entirely focused on your life outside of writing. I'll write another blog post about writing tips to prep for Nanowrimo next week. But you don't just wake up on November 1 and suddenly have all the time in the world to write. You're going to have to build that into your life, and that's where starting ahead can really help.
1. Make a plan!
Figure out when you can write. Early in the morning? Start moving your alarm clock back bit by bit right now and adjust to an earlier time. Writing in the evening? Write on your commute if you can or write before dinner, build it into a habit you already do every day. For many people writing during your lunch break at work might be the best option so figure out your when and build that time now.
2. Ask for help.
For many people, taking the time to write will require sacrifices in other areas. If you can, ask the people around you for help. See if your partner can watch the kids for an hour to let you write, or ask your roommates to help with the dishes. If you can, start saving up money now if you need to, so you can hire a sitter or maybe treat yourself to coffee shop writing dates.
3. Find ways to work even when you're not writing.
What really works for me is to have a playlist for my novel. I can listen to it when I'm commuting to and from work or working out. It helps me brainstorm and get new ideas even if I might not be able to write right that second. It's a great way to stay in the headspace even if you're not actively writing.
4. Meal prep!
Making time to write can mean carving it out from every area of your life. What I love is meal prepping. Put together a freezer full of food for quick, easy dinners that you can throw in the oven or crockpot. It really helps free up not just your time, but your brain capacity. I know for me, sometimes I come home from work to exhausted to even make a decision about dinner, but if it's already made and I just have to heat it up... boom instant win.
5. Look at your schedule.
See where you're spending your time and adjust. Set your DVR to record your favorite shows and watch them in December, limit your evening time on Facebook. Be ruthless with your time and carve away the time. If you start now then it won't be nearly the same immediate shock in November.
Building the time to write can require adjusting your life. If you start now, you can really build habits that will take you through NaNoWriMo and beyond!