Read it again.
When you are prepared and ready for the creative process, wouldn’t you agree that’s when you get the highest quality output completed?
Imagine your house is dirty, your desk is covered in papers, you haven’t showered in awhile, and you’re hungry. You’ve given no thought to your creation in awhile and all of the sudden, you sit down and decide you want to write.
Yes, you’ll get some words on paper (or on computer in my case) but how much more productive would you be if you were clean, comfortable and nothing on your To-Do List weighed on your mind?
I’m currently in the second week of my Preptober. If you haven’t reviewed what I did in the first week of October to prep for NaNoWriMo, you can find that blog post here.
For the next seven days, I’ll be delving into my R&D chores for the upcoming 30 days of writing.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Planner, Pantser or Plantser (like me) at this stage. You have things to put in your research queue.
Planner – Get your outline on paper. Determine your structure and plot lines now in order to work out any kinks you may stumble across during the writing process. Flesh out your characters in detail. (Reedsy has a good character profile creation guide, btw.)
Plantser – Figure out your bare bones story structure. Imagine your characters and how they’ll fit together / work against each other. I use the Reedsy character guide linked above because I LOVE knowing the back stories of my characters before I start writing. Their language, expressions and actions jump onto the paper when I know my characters well.
Planner, Pantser, and Plantser – Research anything you’ll need to have inside knowledge about. Think about your characters and setting. Do you need more information about what your characters do for a living? What their hobbies are? What the weather is like in their environment? If you’re developing an entirely new world, create a map. Determine how magic/physics/etc works in your world. Figure this out now, rather than throwing something subpar together as you write.
For every novel I’ve written, I have a Pinterest board created. I pin photos that speak to me about the esthetics of the environment, the clothing worn by my characters, and even the interior of homes. I get a lot of fodder for my writing doing this.
I should have mentioned this in Week One but alas, I’m always late to the game when it comes to taking care of myself.
- Vitamins – If you take vitamins and supplements on the regular, good for you! As a 39-year-old child, I’ve only recently started a daily regiment. Let me tell you, I can TOTALLY tell when I haven’t had my little pills. Do yourself a favor and start a vitamin plan if you don’t have one in play. Your doctor can help you to determine what is best for you at your age. I take a women’s one-a-day, Magnesium, and fish oil. My ability to think-on-the-fly and remember words skyrocketed after only taking them regularly for a week.
- Meal Prepping – Make sure and generate a meal calendar for the month of November, especially if you are typically in charge of feeding your fam. If you have the option of delegating meals to your partner or roommate, great! If not, take some time to map out the food plan for next month so it’s one less stress on your plate. Choose meals that are quick, easy, and nutritious to keep you focused on your writing. I meal prep close to Halloween with stews, soups, chilis and casseroles, then put them in the deep freeze. One bag salad and an oven timer later, my tribe has a home-cooked meal that’s easy to clean up.
- Exercise – Get your blood flowing with walks or cardio. There is nothing better than brainstorming your next piece of writing while you sweat! (I say this while drinking a glass of wine.) Seriously though, you’ll be doing a LOT of sitting in November and you’ll want to create a habit of movement for your in-between-writing breaks.
- Announce your plans – Make sure your friends and family know what you will be undertaking throughout November. Explain to them how important it is that you get your alone time in order to create. That way, you don’t feel guilty about taking the time for yourself to create your labor of love.
CLEAN YOUR SPACE
Get your desk locked and loaded and ready for action. Now is the time to Marie Kondo your work station. Does the space bring you joy or do you feel confined and annoyed every time you sit down?
This week, go through your work area with a fine tooth comb. Toss any old papers and remove any debris that does not stimulate your creativity. Dust! Clean your monitor(s)! Make sure you have everything you need nearby in order to write, write, write!
I keep a few things on hand at all times:
- Music or white noise – I have a Spotify playlist of instrumentals that keeps me focused on forward movement and blocks out anything that may be happening in my home that would sway me from my word goal.
- Big ol’ tank of water. Literally a tank. I am part camel.
- Notepad and pen – This helps me to quickly make note of something I want to check out later. When I stop in the middle of my writing to research something, I lose momentum every time.
- Photos of my main characters – I use Google to find photos that resemble the characters I’ve created in my head. I’m not sure how much it helps but I like having them nearby.
- Comfortable seating – This is super important. Make sure you have a supportive chair that will keep you aligned throughout the month of November. There’s nothing worse than getting sore from a poorly constructed chair.
I’d love to hear what you do during Preptober that helps you accomplish your goals during NaNoWriMo.
Feel free to join me on Facebook or leave a comment down below. I can’t wait to meet you and cheer you on throughout your writing process.