NaNoWriMo Prep Month

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

Summer flew by and winter is coming! NaNoWriMo is also upon us – it will be here before you know it. Normally, I am a total pantser, meaning on November 1, I open Google Docs and start typing. I usually have no idea what my story will be about, who my characters are or the theme. I do know the genre – YA Paranormal or Supernatural FanFic. **Update: I just found a YouTube video from the amazing Rachael Stephen explaining why we shouldn’t label ourselves pansters or plotters. Go check it out!** That’s all I do. Until now. I’ve decided to start planning my story now. Why? Because I have so much going on in my life that I just don’t have time to wing it and I know I won’t hit any sort of goal without a plan.


NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is a month-long writing challenge. The goal is to write a novel that’s 50,000 words in length. You can write other things (short stories, poetry, songs, etc) but you are considered a NaNoWriMo Rebel (but that’s cool!) I’ve participated for quite a few years. Last year, I only hit 19,000 words because I had the worst case of strep ever, and got psoriasis from it.


Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing my tips and tricks for successfully completing NaNoWriMo. True, I have never completed NaNoWriMo, but I have learned things along the way that will be helpful to both me and you (I hope!)

If you haven’t already signed up on the NaNoWriMo site, do it – it’s free and easy! We can also be writing buddies – encouraging each other to reach our goal!


I am choosing to go big – 50,000 words in 30 days. It CAN be done. It HAS been done (just not by me). I’ll be breaking up my daily word count (2,000 words) into more manageable pieces, which I’ll cover in another post later on. I am also leading the Come Write In local events at the Public Library this November. So far, it’s just me. And that’s ok. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and I don’t really know any other local writers.

Good luck! Get writing!

Part Two can be found here.

Part Three can be found here.

NaNoWriMo Prep Month | NaNoWriMo Prep, NaNoWriMo Tips, Successful NaNoWriMo

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How I Set Myself Up For Writing Success

Finding sufficient time to write – as a single mom and full-time student – can be challenging at best. I am often forced to get creative with my time and space. I don’t have an office, or even a desk, so having a laptop is beneficial, since it’s small and portable, as opposed to a desktop computer. I’ve thought about just getting a desktop setup but I would need the room for a desk big enough to hold a monitor, tower, keyboard and mouse. I would be chained to the desk anytime I wanted to write.

In order for me to have a successful writing session, I do a few things.

  • I look ahead in the calendar – when will my kids be gone? What do we have going on at certain times in the day? When I figure these times out, I put a note in my planner to write on those days.
  • This sounds obvious, but I make sure my devices are charged, especially my laptop, since it only holds a charge for about 15 minutes.
  • I make a short list of things I need to write (one of my many WIPs, or a blog post) and how many I want to write.
  • Once I have time blocked out (usually an hour at a time), I sit down with some ice water and peanut butter m&ms.
  • I use the timer app on my phone to keep me on task.
  • Sometimes, if I’m writing to hit a word count, I will use the NaNoWriMo Word Sprints function. (Pro tip: if you click the DARE ME button under the timer, it gives you prompts to use for your story!)

Camp NaNoWriMo has come and gone. I ended it a few days early, hitting my word count of 10,000 words around July 25th. I lowered my word count from 30,000 to 10,000 because it just wasn’t a realistic number with everything going on in my life right now. November will be here before you know it, so I’ll try again then (except my word goal will be 50,000!)

My new habit will be writing at least 500 words every day. I found a few great articles to help give you some inspiration! Jeff Goins has a 31-day challenge (not sure if it’s still going on – I never received the daily prompts – but still useful advice!) Are you a morning person (or do you want to be?) Here’s a post about getting up early to write 500 words. And also a post about what writing 500 words a day can do for you.

Get writing!!

How I Set Myself Up For Writing Success | Beth Gets Brave


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7 Reasons Why I Write Fiction

7 Reasons Why I Write | Beth Gets Brave

I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. I went from writing about the future (how I thought my life was going to go, who I was going to marry, etc) to writing paranormal YA (young adult) fiction. Yes, I realize I am 31, but I find it’s easier to write about a teenager falling in love with a supernatural being than writing about a grown woman. I may never publish anything that I write, if I finish anything at all. But I need to write.

  • it lets me escape my own reality for awhile
  • I love going back and re-reading what I’ve written, and get mad when it ends too soon (because I never finish anything…)
  • it gives me something to do in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep
  • it’s fun (most of the time)
  • I love doing NaNoWriMo (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo (April & July), even though I’ve never hit the 50,000 goal…yet…
  • it gives me a chance to improve my writing, because I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not that great with grammar and following all the rules
  • I get to meet some pretty awesome writers on Twitter and Instagram. And next year, I’ll join a Camp NaNoWriMo cabin for even more support

I hope to finish at least a short story, and post it online somewhere. I hear Wattpad is a good place for new writers, especially for fan fiction (which I also write).


7 Reasons Why I Write | Beth Gets Brave

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