Life { Faith } Tea

and ramblings on everything in between

NaNo Prep Update

We are two weeks away from November, my fellow WriMos. How’s your novel coming along? Are you already on the verge of hyperventilating like me? I took a much needed day off from everything else in my life last Saturday to work through my NaNo prep list. I’m excited and nervous and SOOOOO ready to put the first word down on the page. I posted my to do list a few weeks ago, and here is a look at where I stand.

1. Plot 25 scenes.
My goal was to come up with a scene/chapter for each day I will be writing. I stalled out at 21 and I’m totally okay with that. I don’t want to force the story in a direction that isn’t needed, so if at the end of 21 scenes I’m shy of the 50K goal I will proceed to write the world’s longest epilogue. Just watch me.


A writer may look at this photo and think, “Wow, look at all those plot holes she needs to fix.” But I look at it and think, “Holy cow, I’m going to write a novel!”

2. Find a few writing buddies to hold me accountable.
I’ve informed a few of my word nerd friends of my intentions for November, and they have whole heartedly agreed to point and laugh at me if I fall behind or give up mid-month. Gotta love it when your friends have your back.

3. Prepare and freeze extra meals.
Just like an 80-year-old grandma, I started hording plastic containers in September so I could fill the freezer with yummy goodness.

photo (37)

I chopped and diced and simmered until my eyes bled on Saturday. For the days when there will be no time to work, write, breathe, and cook, I can take out one of these bad boys.

photo 1 (1)

Cheese Soup, Tortilla Soup, or Spinach Lasagna, anyone?

photo 2

4. Establish a reward system.
I’ve figured out what the mother of all reward systems will be for me. Like I said in the last post, a candy reward system will fail the first day when I eat all of it. Can we say no self control? I sure can. I’ve decided to reward myself with my favorite television show. I’ve posted a word count calendar next to my desk and when I hit each milestone, I can watch the latest episode of Parenthood. This will keep me motivated more than anything else.

photo 5
5. Watch Funny Farm.
My friend Ali, who is my biggest supporter in this endeavor, will be coming over for dinner and Funny Farm later in the month. I hear that marathon runners take off the week before a race to rest. I’m thinking I won’t do any writing the week of Oct. 27 since NaNo power writing is clearly as intense as a 26.2K run. 🙂 That will be the perfect week to sit back, relax, and laugh.  I have a feeling there will be no laughing in November.

6. Re-read In Dubious Battle.
Currently in the process of re-reading this gem. Love me some Steinbeck!

7. Pre-write blog content for November.
I’ve decided on all my topics and two posts are written. I’m wondering if I should write some stuff for December, too. I have a feeling I might temporarily break up with words after November.

8. Lose my sanity.
It’s gone.

After doing more NaNo prep digging on the NaNoWriMo site and other blogs, I decided to add a few more items to the list.

9. Prepare a mid-month meltdown box.

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I found this idea over at From Elliott. She has a few NaNos under her belt so if she says I need a box of goodies for when I freak out, then I need one. My box includes:

– A copy of The Great Gatsby (I read somewhere that this novel is roughly 50,000 words so this will remind me of what I’m trying going to accomplish in November.)
– Pictures of my nephew, who lights up my life
– A bag of peanut butter filled chocolates
– A jar candle
– A stress ball
– 30 questions about my main character Eldon
– A four-leaf clover of roads and ramps to remind me to come back to my center when I’m stuck. It’ll also serves as a reminder that all roads can eventually get you to where you’re going.

I’ve cleverly hidden the box in a closet I never use, which is blocked by a piece of furniture. Remember my previous mention of candy reward systems not working for me? I wasn’t kidding.

10. Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement.
Siri has kindly agreed to remind me at different points in the month that I’m doing a great job, I’m a (halfway) decent writer, and I’m not allowed to cry.

11. Prepare 10 NaNo Commandments.
I found this idea in one of the NaNo writing forums and some of the entries are hilarious. It inspired me to think about what I can and cannot do in November. Here are a few I’ve come up with so far:

– Thou shalt not ignore a growling belly to write 500 more words. Thou will get the shakes.
– Thou shalt not work overtime in the month of November. 40 hours per week is plenty.
– Thou shalt write without looking back. No editing until December!
– Thou shalt not have a mid-month meltdown before mid-month.
– Thou shalt go outside.


Wow, that ended up being a long to do list. And to think I originally planned on just winging it…

I will be providing updates every Monday in November so you can rejoice in my excitement or wallow in my misery with me!

How is your NaNo prep going? Is there anything I left off the list? 

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
George Orwell


3 comments on “NaNo Prep Update

  1. Sam
    November 1, 2013

    You can add me as a NaNo Writing Buddy if you want some encouragement. SamAnnElizabeth

    • Ashlee
      November 1, 2013

      Thanks Sam! You’ve been added. Today was a success. As I climbed the steps to my apartment tonight, I had that feeling of doubt. “Am I really capable of this?” I questioned. I am, and so are you!

  2. Pingback: NaNo Week #2: Dance Parties | Life { Faith } Tea

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This entry was posted on October 17, 2013 by in Writing and tagged , , , , , .

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