One month from today NaNoWriMo will start. If you have no idea what I am talking about, take a look at my post from last month on it. Then take a look at our guest post on it that we had earlier this week. NaNoWriMo is like a marathon for writers. Sure some will sign up and jump right (pun intended) in, but others work their way up to it and lay the groundwork.
The easiest way to get ready for NaNo? Cruise the forums. The have a wealth of information, tips, and other goodies to help you get ready. Even better, if you have never tried or heard of NaNo before, a good starting point. Look around for other writers in your area. See if you have friends who are participating. Writing buddies can be of great help during November. Whether that help is in the form of inspiration or competition, either works and will help you reach your goal. There is the Facebook page and often local groups have pages. (We have one for Jamestown, ND for example.)
Also, take a look at what writing tools you might want to use during the month. Some like to do everything in a traditional word processor such as wordpad or MS Word. Myself, I like to write in yWriter. yWriter is a free application by a writer for writers. I use it for all of my short story and novel projects. There are many other writers applications out there and it all boils down to personal preference. (If you are a Mac user, I would suggest taking a look at Scrivener. It is an inexpensive app with a 30 day trial. Generally NaNo folks get a discount as well after November. If I used Mac computers I would use this extensively.) Also during the month, I make use of Write or Die by Dr Wicked. The online version is free. I find it a great tool to just get ideas from the brain to the page.
This year in preparation for NaNoWriMo I am going with the marathon analogy. For my short distance runs and general exercise, I am using writing prompts. I get them from a few sources, but the ones I tend to like the best come from the Writing Excuses podcast. Another good source is Writer’s Digest. Basically they are short writing exercises that help get the creative juices flowing. For example the Writer’s Digest prompts say to write 750 words or less. You don’t even have to post them somewhere, though feedback might help formulate some good ideas for later.
Last couple of thoughts… word count challenges and word count widgets can be of help to keep you going and getting ready for NaNo. Here is a good post on both of those topics. Here is another great post on preparing for NaNo. It goes more into the topic of doing research prior to the month of November.
Anything I might have missed that you use to get ready? Only 30 days to go till the start line!