Everybody is different, something that the people over at the NaNoWriMo site understand! Something that I like about that is that they realize people write differently. There are the Pantsers, and the Planners. The former, Pantsers, fly by the seat of their pants–which explains the funny name. And the Planners…are just that!
Are you a Pantser, or a Planner?
Funnily enough, I’m a Pantser. At least, in regards to NaNoWriMo I am. I take it seriously, but perhaps not as seriously as I would other projects, so I’m not sitting there mapping out every detail for months.
Personally, then, all I have right now are a handful of ideas. I know what I’m going to write about, and a few vague ideas about plot points here and there, but that’s all. I find that planning things out scene by scene is overwhelming and limiting–this is true in my “regular” writing as well. It’s stifling, and my poor muse is confined to a small room instead of the vast outdoors. There’s nothing wrong with the people who plan for months and months, but that’s just not how I approach NaNoWriMo!
It might also help that I really only ever see myself doing something like fan-fiction for NaNoWriMo; that’s what I did last year, and what I’ll do this year. It helps, then, I think, as I have my characters sorta figured out, and a bit of a plot to mess around with as I see fit–or one that I come up with entirely! The setting could change, too…the possibilities with fan-fiction are endless (just click around the Internet!), but it also provides a bit of structure, so that’s nice.
As a Pantser, my survival kit is probably a bit smaller than that of a Planner might be. I don’t have a myriad of notebooks to keep track of, maps that I’ve sketched, any of those things…. But here’s a few things that I think will help me get through NaNo this year:
My wonderful writing program, Scrivener:
Up until NaNoWriMo last year, I mostly wrote things on paper. Obviously that would prove difficult for writing 50,000 words, so I had to change that up. And I’m glad I did. My problem with writing things by hand was that it took too long; my thoughts would get ahead of what my hand could scrawl across the page–and that’s with writing in shorthand!
Sure, any ol’ program will work just fine, but I’m excited to use Scrivener this year!
And if you’re the type who attacks NaNoWriMo with a paper and pen (or pencil), then…more power to ya! I can just imagine the hand cramps….
Chocolate!! (Or some other snack….):
Snacks are important, of course! I prefer chocolate to anything else, and have a stash in my desk just for the purpose of eating while I’m writing!
Over the course of the month, I’m sure I’ll eat many different things as I write…but chocolate is just so wonderful!
It provides a slight distraction (especially if you have something like Skittles with different flavors to it!), and something else to focus on for a moment or two, but sometimes that’s helpful. Plus, if you’re eating chocolate, there’s some caffeine in there! XD
Your taste will differ from mine, and probably on the type of scene you’re writing! I mentioned some of my favorite artists/albums to listen to while writing in a previous post. What do you find helpful when you’re writing–or can you not have any noise at all?
NaNoWriMo is not easy. The very act of writing isn’t easy–it’s simple, sure, but that’s not the same thing! Though I don’t talk much about what I’m writing, that doesn’t mean that I don’t need a few people to encourage me while I write!
My family and friends are wonderful at this…and the NaNo community is awfully nice, too!
A designated writing space (and time?):
I need minimal distractions. I’m not the type of gal who will go to a coffee shop with my laptop and write to my heart’s content; partially because I don’t drink coffee, and just because that doesn’t appeal to me! I might do it for a change of pace, but that has yet to happen….
The room I choose to write in is my bedroom, but that’s as specific as I get with it. Maybe I’ll sit on my bed, or at my desk…it just depends!
Also, I usually choose to write late at night, when most everyone else is sleeping; the distractions are kept to a minimum, then. And I just like to write at night!
Tea (or coffee, if that’s more your thing):
Always! Tea is good for everything, but I see myself drinking an awful many pots of the wonderful stuff over the month of November. (This won’t be a big change for me!) I like to drink tea as I write…for no particular reason! 🙂 The same reason that I snack while I write, perhaps? It’s calming, if nothing else.
Something to reward yourself with once you’ve reached your goal:
Whatever your goal is, you deserve to reward yourself once you’ve reached it! This will provide a little bit more motivation, too, though the feeling of having reached a goal is a reward in itself!
Splurge a bit! You’ve accomplished something incredibly difficult and taxing! Throw yourself a little party and celebrate!
What will help you with NaNoWriMo this year? Are you a Pantser or a Planner?
Good luck, to anyone attempting NaNo this year! You’ll do splendidly!
I’ll be sharing updates here daily, as well as on my social media sites–and the NaNoWriMo one!
You can do this! And so can I! XD