I'm going to start this off by asking you one question. Which one of these GIFs do you most relate to?
This one? Great! You may still benefit from this post, so carry on reading for some hints and tips to help you remain that way!
Or are you feeling a bit like Winifred? That's ok too, this blog will definitely help you if that's the case!
My first tip, and it won't be for everyone, is to create a playlist that sings to your soul. If you like metalcore, bang some Parkway Drive on there. If you prefer classical, then load up the Bach. Whatever puts you smack bang in the middle of your happy place, load it onto a playlist, so that when you sit down to write it'll help you along the way. If you prefer to sit in silence while you write, that's fine too, whatever floats your boat.
If you're a big music-lover like me, then I recommend creating a playlist to recharge to as well. Something completely different that takes your mind somewhere else in your downtime. You never know, listening to a different genre might help new ideas float about in your exhausted mind.
Next up, I would suggest preparing some of your favourite meals that you can freeze. That way, if you're on a roll and don't really want to stop writing, all you need to do is pop one into the microwave before whizzing back to your computer to carry on typing. It will also stop you ordering in a Chinese when you're mentally exhausted and don't have the energy to cook.
As well as meal prep, I'd stock up on lots of snacks and drinks, so if you REALLY can't spare the time to crawl to the microwave and put in one of your prepared meals then you can have something quick to tide you over. I obviously want to recommend chocolate (it's my go-to snack) but I'm going to suggest a cereal bar or granola or broccoli (ha!), something healthy like that. It might give you some added brain-power, who knows?
Ok, next on the list, I always work better when I have a clear space. If the space around me is a mess (my kids really don't understand how to keep things tidy), I can't concentrate. If you have a desk, make sure all unnecessary things are put away and your workspace is neat and ready for the amount of time you're going to be spending there. Make sure your chair is comfortable too!
Don't forget as well, to create your project on the NaNoWriMo website. If you haven't already, and you're taking part officially, dont forget to sign up here. If you sign up, it will help to keep you motivated, I promise!
Next up, make sure (I can't stress this enough!) that you have some way of backing up your writing. Hard-drive, USB memory stick, OneDrive, iCloud...just make sure it's all clear and ready for you to backup every day. The last thing you want to do is spend all day writing and then your computer crashes and you lose it all.
It's handy as well, before it all kicks off in November, to print any research or notes you might need. If you have them in front of you (you could even use a Monica-style binder if you're organised enough) you're going to feel much more in control of your writing knowing the information is right in front of you.
Make sure that you set an overall goal for the month, and then break that down into daily targets. Try to reach those targets every day so you don't feel like you have to constantly catch up!
And finally, set reminders for yourself. If you work best at 7am, set your alarm to remind you to get started. If you work better in the evening then set a reminder for yourself then. You could even go more old-school and leave post-it notes for yourself everywhere, it's whatever suits you and your lifestyle.
It's going to be an amazing month, and I can't wait to get my hands on some of the amazing pieces I know will be out there soon. Once you've completed it, give yourself a break, and then go back with fresh eyes to edit, edit and then edit again. And then once you've done that, get in touch and I can go through it again just to make sure!
Leave me a comment if you found this useful, good luck!