With NaNoWriMo starting November 1st, it is a good idea to start thinking about how to get through that month as smoothly as possible. We want to come through the other end in relatively good health, physically and mentally.
November, after all, is a darn stressful, darn busy, month.
How will we each get through it?
- We can start by doing a little planning. While there is a NaNo Prep Day, I tend to spend the month of October working on this project. I do make plans on that one day, for certain aspects of what I am going to do in November, but I spread most of my planning out so as not to get over-stressed.
- Use the month of October to put together a NaNoWriMo Survival Kit. The survival kits will contain whatever you find necessary to get you through November: Notebooks, pens, candles, tea… You get the picture.
- A couple of days before beginning the challenge, go on a shopping trip for healthy foods. Eating well during NaNoWriMo will aid you in having the energy necessary to accomplish everything you will need to do during November: Work, write like crazy, cook a Thanksgiving meal, decorate for the upcoming holidays, spend time with family. Clean – once in a while if not every day. Fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks, and easy salads to go with meals. Meals that can be put into the crock pot each morning, to cook slowly throughout the day. Sweet and Sour Pork and Chili are a couple of meals that can be prepared easily. Plan to shop weekly to always have easy meals to prepare. Or make out your shopping lists in October, placing them on the refrigerator for someone else. They can shop to make things easier on you.
- Once a week, make life easier by having food delivered. Splurge. Treat yourself to a piece of cake every 10,000 words written, if you like.
- Make sure you spend a little time with your children and your significant other each day. They matter, and will miss you otherwise. Take a family walk once a week. Have dinner with them at least a few times each week. Catch up on their lives. Talk to them about your book!
- Break things up. When stuck, a walk will help to get out pent-up energy. I find that walking helps me to come up with more ideas for my stories.
- Work out each day. No time for a full workout? Take natural breaks from writing, spending 5 minutes doing stretches, squats, jogging in place. Whatever works for you. Six short breaks a day will give you 30 minutes of activity. If you combine this with a 20 minute walk each day, you will stay in shape.
- Take time for yourself at least once a week. Watch a movie. Read a chapter of a book. Soak in the tub. Getting your mind of the book you are writing has a way of letting ideas flow.
- Drink plenty of water. Try room temperature lemon water with honey each morning for good digestion. Drink tea, or coffee. Be sure to have plenty on hand! And don’t forget to get in your vitamin C each day.
- Write! As much as you can. Where you can. I write at home, as well as during my down time at work. I have my bosses permission. I have spent time in libraries, typing away, and at the park. Write where you write best.
Feel free to share your ideas for keepin’ it real and keepin’ it healthy during NaNoWriMo in the comments, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Shannon L. Buck
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