It’s Tricky to Rock Nano

As I gear up for the ultimate writing challenge next month, NaNoWriMo, not unlike a marathon runner prepping for that insanely long distance race, I find my brain filled with a haunting tune from the prolific rappers of the 80’s. Those poets in gold chains, sporting Adidas with style and grace.

Yes, Run DMC.

Photo Credit: from Wikipedia
Photo Credit: from Wikipedia

♫♪This speech is my recital, I think it’s very vital
To rock a rhyme, that’s right on time
It’s tricky is the title, here we go

It’s tricky to rock a rhyme
To rock a rhyme that’s right on time
It’s tricky, it’s tricky, tricky tricky tricky ♪♫


Those of you who write in rhyme know that it can indeed be tricky to rock well.

I myself have never conquered NaNo. I’ve never reached the 50,000 word goal. I’ve never been focused enough. In the past, I’ve done more lip service to NaNo than actually participating and I’ve let anything bright and shiny distract me from reaching my goal.

But this year, I vow to make it all the way.

The number one thing I’m doing to make that happen is participating; making time to park my butt in the chair. That means I’ve had to clear my schedule ahead of time by preparing blog posts and arranging for childcare so I can attend write-ins.

Did you know that you can prepare blog posts ahead of time and schedule when they release? So convenient! How did I not know about this a year ago? (It pays to read all of the directions.) I’ve been prepping posts for the first half of the month to get me started on the right foot. I even have my premier post scheduled for The Great Noveling Adventure blog already in the queue, ready to go. Now I don’t have to sweat that. I can be nervous about something completely different.

Like what the heck I’m going to write about for 50,000 words.

I do have a beginning idea, but after that, who knows where this thing will go. Thankfully, if I get stumped, I can hit the NaNo Forums to find ideas for character names, adopt plot ideas, get help developing characters, etc. I’ve never really taken advantage of all NaNo has to offer.

I also plan on hitting a lot more of my local write-in events this year, including the kick-off event set for Halloween night. My costume?  A dedicated freakin’ writer.

Another way I prepared for Nano was by organizing my workspace.

My office has slowly been creeping up on me, with ever growing towers of papers – notes from conferences, critiques of chapters, books on craft to read, etc. Things were getting way out of hand. And that was just on my side. My husband and I took about a week to tackle the clutter – midway through, I wasn’t sure we’d survive the disaster we’d created trying to organize our lives. Mass quantities of beer consumed settled my frayed nerves. Then an open space in the carpet appeared, the mountain of debris dissipated. My husband redesigned and built from scratch two fantastic desks that opened up the room and made me eager to get back to work. He more than earned his Xbox time at the end of each work day.

My side.

new office pic 1

My husband’s side.

new office pic 2

My desk is clutter-free and ready to see some serious action. My husband also helped me set up a studio microphone so I can pace around the office and do some hands-free writing to encourage me to write with less editing – which is what this NaNo exercise is really supposed to be about for me. I need more practice letting myself write that messy first draft without editing the crap out of it.

So how do you prepare for NaNo?

Are you participating?

If you are and you need another buddy, I’m litbeing. Add me and we’ll rock NaNo together.

And don’t forget, for all you picture book writers,you’re not off the hook! There’s a fabulous program for you during the month of November called PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) started by the lovely Tara Lazar. You should definitely check it out!

13 thoughts on “It’s Tricky to Rock Nano

  1. This is my first year and I’m pretty stoked! You have some great ideas. Thanks for sharing them. Hopefully it’s not too late for me to put some of them into action.

    1. very cool! so glad you’re going to be doing the nano, too. if you’ve signed up, you can add me to your buddy list. kt did already. i guess she’s taking the plunge, too. 🙂

  2. I am already gearing up for my first time to do this! I have been getting my posts ready ahead of time so I can focus and it is good to hear that that is in your advice. I don’t think my middle grade will end up being 50,000 words, but hopefully it will be close! Good luck:)

    1. nice! glad to have another local in the club. if you’re interested in attending any of the tulsa write-ins, let me know and i’ll send you some info. btw, you can use more than one project to fulfill the word count requirement if one story isn’t long enough.

      1. I didn’t know you could do that! I have a few scenes I am adding to another novel right now, but I will wait until Thursday when it will count:) And thanks for offering to let me know about Tulsa events – I would really like to go to a few. Thanks!

  3. Glad you got to come to the kick-off last night! And I love your desk set-up, it looks great! I’ve considered attempting some hands-free writing, but that means I have to get over my quirk about not liking to talk out loud.

    1. I really had a great time and I was amazed at how helpful the write-ins have been. i’m enjoying the word challenges and dares immensely.

      you guys do such an excellent job putting these on.

      i will keep you posted on how it goes with the no-hands writing turns out later in the week. it will be an interesting experiment for sure.

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