“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
So, it's about to start; this great big new adventure of yours. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner and so is the rest of your life. I can't promise you that it's going to be an easy month, but I can promise you that you will be - or at least feel - a better person for the experience, no matter if you "win" or "lose".
1. Are you ready to give this your best shot?
Do you feel energised, intrigued or a bit flummoxed by the possibility of NaNoWriMo? Are you equally as uncertain that you can do it as you feel revved up to kick its ass? Do you have no idea how you're going to feel at the end of Week 1, let alone on day 30?
Yes, yes and yes? Good news, you're ready for NaNoWriMo.
No, no and no? Good news, you're ready for NaNoWriMo.
2. Are you ready to write?
Do you have a computer or a notebook? Have you downloaded one of these writing apps or have you bougt a small army of biros? Are you ready to see the blank page or blinking cursor as an enemy that must be battled on a daily basis?
Yes, yes and yes? Great! You're ready for NaNoWriMo.
No, no and no? That's still great and you're still ready for NaNoWriMo.
3. Have you made time to write?
Have you cancelled all unnecessary social engagements? Have you told at least one person who you speak to regularly that you're about to do something amazing in the month of November? Are you prepared to grow grey shadows under your eyes and become used to the caffeine shakes?
Yes, yes and yes? Fantastic. You're ready for NaNoWriMo.
No, no and no? That's flipping fantastic, because you're still ready for NaNoWriMo.
4. Do you know what you're going to write?
Do you know how your draft begins? Who are the people or the topics you're going to obsess with for the next 30 days? Do you know how it all ends?
Yes? You are more than ready for NaNoWriMo.
No? Welcome to my club. Sorry, but you are definitely still ready for NaNoWriMo.
4. Do you know where you're going to write?
Is that space clear of clutter and excuses? Have you hidden the TV remote and favourited all of these writing playlists? Have you tested how comfy the chair/sofa/bed is for a few hours at a time?
Yes? You're more ready than I was on my first year.
No? You're still more prepared than I was on my first year.
5. Have you written a list of 10 things you will enjoy in December when this is all over?
Have you included your favourite cake? Did you make sure an afternoon or evening with some of your favourite people were on there? Did you forget to add hot bubble bath / lazy bike ride / lunch at your favourite restaurant?
Yes? You're a step ahead of me!
No? Then we'll just look forward to doing anything and everything that isn't writing 1667 words a day in December, right?
6. Have you tested how quickly you can write 1667 words?
Did your fingers ache? Was it less than two hours? Were you amazed at how quickly the time went?
Yes? NaNoWriMo is going to be a breeze for you?
No? NaNoWriMo is still just as likely going to be a breeze for you too.
7. Have you stocked up the kitchen cupboards?
Did your remember tea and biscuits? Did you make sure you bought all the things you can cook quickest and easiest? Did y ou also get some chocolate...? For extra writing energy, of course.
Yes? Wow, you're more ready for NaNoWriMo than I ever will be... and also, what's your address?
No? Hey, you're still ready. Consider it also a new health regime. I actually lost 2 kilos doing my first NaNoWriMo...
8. Have you made friends with my NaNo profile?
Yes? I'm going to stalk you every day to make sure you're still writing, because YES, YOU ARE READY FOR NANOWRIMO!!!
No? Well, that's rude! I'm going to waste valuable writing time trying to find you and stalk you anyway because yes, my friend, YOU ARE 100% READY FOR NANOWRIMO!!!!!
P.S. I've decided to document my NaNoWriMo progress with a weekly update here and with regular photos on Instagram. The photos will have nothing to do with what I'm writing (I'm not very good at taking sexy photos of computers) but it will be a way to keep a journal of my word counts and experience while keeping it a bit visual too. I'll use the hashtag #NaNoBird2014 and I'm @bushbirdie if you'd like to follow along. If you do the same, let me know!
In case you missed it, here are 21 good reasons you should do NaNoWriMo this year, and if you're keen, bookmark this page which will be home to a new NaNoWriMo Inspiration post every day in November this year.
Frances M. Thompson
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