Getting Ahead, In Preparation for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo begins November 1st, and I am beginning to prepare already. I want to be sure I have all my ducks in a row so I will have plenty of time to work on my book.

There are many things a writer can do to prepare for the 30 day writing challenge, and I thought I would share what I am doing this year.

  1. First, I want my space rearranged before Thanksgiving for displaying Yule decorations. I always decorate on Thanksgiving. To make this process go a bit more quickly, I will rearrange my space, dust everything, and vacuum under things in October. Also, this newly arranged space will be more organized. This is how I want my winter to begin.
  2. I will have put together my NaNoWriMo Survival Kit, which may be different than in previous years. You can check out examples of these kits here and here, for ideas on creating your own.
  3. I will have stocked up on necessary non perishables, for less frequent, faster shopping trips. And, I will have the first weeks supply of fresh produce and whatnot handy. My slow cookers will be at the ready, so I can quickly throw food into them. These foods will cook on my days off, and be proportioned out for work and home lunches/dinners and breakfasts. I will have healthy trail mixes made in advance, for snacking while writing.
  4. I will make sure all my people know that I do NOT want to be bothered when I am home unless there is an emergency. I have a sign to hang on my door so my neighbors in the house will not knock and disturb.
  5. Simple notes, character sketches, and a loose outline will be done before the first. I will also have my stories town map hung on my wall, to use as a visual aid.
  6. My plans for visiting my daughter for a few days in November are set. It is her birthday month, so I take time away from NaNoWriMo for a short visit with her up north. I will bring my laptop to work on my manuscript on the bus ride there and back, and I will plug away at it when Skye is working. But I will enjoy the time with my daughter.
  7. I already have permission to work on the manuscript at work, when there is a lull in activity. I work as a front desk agent at an inn, so I will work on it in between checking people in an out. This actually worked out well for me last year. I finished the manuscript early. Enough to win the challenge.
  8. I have already begun writing and scheduling posts and articles to publish to my blogs and channels during the month of November. I am writing the bare minimum to get my readers through. I only want to have to write a post for this blog once a week in November, to update you all on my progress with the challenge. Everything else you will read next month will have been written this month.
  9. I have already planned to take Thanksgiving off, even though I have no plans that day. I will make my little meal, and relax. When I am done eating, I will decorate for the holidays, listen to Christmas movies. Unless they schedule me to work at the inn. Then I will write, because it will not be a busy day and I will become bored quickly.
  10. I will come up with a workout routine for the month of November that can be accomplished each day in small bursts. I have to get up from the computer once every hour or so due to back issues, so working out will be a big help.

That is the extent of my planning for NaNoWriMo, so far anyway.

Share your methods of planning to take time off from life to write next month, in the comments below. Or email me at

Shannon L. Buck

About Shannon L. Buck

Hello. My name is Shannon, and I'm a single mother of two young adult daughters, and Memay to one precious Little Man. I work as a writer from my home in Orono, Maine, and as a Front Desk Agent at an inn. Writing is my life, second only to my daughters. I enjoy writing nonfiction, as well as fiction in a number of genres. At some point, I would like to travel. It would be a true writing adventure.

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