Tips on Creating Your NaNoWriMo Writing Space.
In November, authors around the world come together to write as a community. For those of us who have taken part in NaNoWriMo, we know what a great experience it is. This is why it makes me especially glad that the organization is reaching out to young writers to help them reach a goal most adults only wish for.
BRAVE THE PAGE is a perfect how-to guide on where to start. The book addresses all the core items needed to tell a story as well as how to stay motivated and reach goals. NaNoWriMo provides the kick in the pants many of us need stop listening to our characters pulling us in multiple directions and get their story written.
They offer a place where authors can share in the successes as well as the struggles. It was wonderful for me to be able to develop a community, but when it all comes down to it, it is about my drive and the space I carve out to write.
Here is a list of things you’ll need for your NaNoWriMo space.
1. Get Comfy. You will need a place that you can spend hours writing. It could be a bedroom, a kitchen table, a couch in your family room, or a library. Wherever you find peace and can zone out, that will be your writing space. Personally, I float around from my bedroom to my office to a coffee house. Remember this is your place, so make it work for you.
2. Choose how you will write. Are you old-school and want to write it out in a notebook by hand? Do you have a laptop/computer or tablet that you want to use? There is no wrong way to do this. Just follow your muse and write the way which works best for you.
3. Get a Notebook and Pen. Trust me on this one. No matter where you are, always have a notebook and pen to write down character names, plot ideas, or even a funny joke you want to include in your book. You can also put things in your notes on your phone or tablet, but for me, I am never without a notebook to jot down something. I often have the list of my characters sitting next to my computer as I plug away.
3. Music. This is key for me. I create multiple playlists to get me in the mindset I need to be in to write a scene. I love putting on my headphones and diving into my writing. And yes…sometimes I just put on my headphones to block out the noise around me. It may seem weird, but the silence can work for you too.
4. Snacks. We all need our snacks. You can keep it healthy or not. Whatever you choose, try to have something to drink and a little nosh wherever you are writing. Being creative can make you hungry! My go-to is coffee, a bottle of water, and granola/cereal. Sometimes when I really need to be creative, I bring out the big guns—Cheetos.
5. Inspiration. I know this sounds crazy, but if there is something you have which inspires you to keep going, then keep it around you. Sometimes, this is a vision board with pictures of your characters. Sometimes, this is a saying you love written on a piece of paper. Other times, it can be your favorite t-shirt. Grab the things that bring you happiness and keep you going. You are going to need motivation, so take it from wherever you can.
6. Resources. I always keep a stack of books around me when I am writing in my office or at home. I know you can’t always lug around recourse books with you, but if you have carved out your own writing space at home, make sure you have what you need. If you are a young writer, you will want a copy of BRAVE THE PAGE. Some other great tools are Elements of Style, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (Quick & Dirty Tips), Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students (Quick & Dirty Tips), Thesaurus.com, Grammarly, or any sites, apps, or books you need to create the world in your writing. Personally, I always have a book with symbology and the occult on hand. You never know.
Remember, no matter what you do or how you set up your space to write, there is no wrong way to do it. Just make it comfy and filled with things that inspire you. You got this!
The official NaNoWriMo handbook that inspires young people to tackle audacious goals and complete their creative projects.
Partly a how-to guide on the nitty-gritty of writing, partly a collection of inspiration to set (and meet) ambitious goals, Brave the Page is the go-to resource for middle-grade writers. Narrated in a fun, refreshingly kid-friendly voice, it champions NaNoWriMo's central mission that everyone's stories deserve to be told. The volume includes chapters on character, plot, setting, and the like; motivating essays from popular authors; advice on how to commit to your goals; a detailed plan for writing a novel or story in a month; and more!
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes in the transformational power of creativity. They provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds--on and off the page. With its first event in 1999, the organization's programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Come Write In, and the "Now What?" Months.
About the Authors:
Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of the online literary journal 100 Word Story and the Flash Fiction Collective. His stories and essays have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Writer's Digest, and Poets & Writers. He is the author of Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo.
Rebecca Stern has experienced NaNoWriMo from every angle: she had her fifth- and sixth-grade students participate in the Young Writers Program when she was a teacher, did a victory dance in the 50K winner's circle in 2014, served on the Associate Board, was their Director of Programs, and is now their Young Writers Program and Development Consultant. She lives in San Francisco.
PART ONE: BLOG TOUR
August 12 – Picture Books to YA – Journals for creating and keeping ideas
August 13 – Sgraveswrites – Nanowrimo Tracker
August 14 – Lost in Storyland – The Writing Process in 5 – 10 Songs
August 15 – Coquette Maman – Playlist for inspiring writers
August 16 – wildeyesbujo – Nanowrimo Bujo Tracker
August 19 – Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind – Listicle: What you’ll need for your Nanowrimo Space
August 20 – Some the wiser – A Writing Kit
August 21 – Alohamora: Open a Book – Listicle: Best Books with characters that are writers
August 22 – A Peace of Mind – How to enjoy storytelling for those who don’t like writing
August 23 – Mindful journaling – Inspired by the Book: Bujo Content
PART TWO: Nanowrimo Posts
Lost in Storyland – How to start prepping for next year’s Nanowrimo
Coquette Maman – Tips and Thoughts about the writing process
Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind – Checklist: What to do after you’ve written your first draft
Picture Books to YA – Creative Writing Tips
Mindful journaling – Inspired by the Book: Bujo Content
Alohamora: Open a Book – 5 Steps to get you in the mood to write
wildeyesbujo – Completed Nanowrimo Bujo Tracker
Some the wiser – Middle Grade Writing Group Reflection
A Peace of Mind – Tips and Inspiration from one kid to others
Sgraveswrites – Completed Nanowrimo Tracker
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.