For writers, there is one important festivity that takes place right before the holidays: NaNoWriMo. We want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible...
Author Inspirations

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

For writers, there is one important festivity that takes place right before the holidays: NaNoWriMo. We want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible...

For writers, there is one important festivity that takes place right before the holidays. The writing event of the year — NaNoWriMo — starts November 1, and we want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible if you’re planning on participating in the 30-day sprint to a 50,000-word first draft of your next novel.

Take the remaining days of October to prepare yourself with our 10 easy steps:

1. Gather your tools.

Before you can participate, you have to decide what tools you’ll be using to complete your 50,000 words. First, make sure your computer is fully updated and all your files are backed up. Next, create a special folder and backup plan for your NaNoWriMo 2021 novel. If you’ve created an outline or character profiles, go ahead and save those files into your NaNoWriMo 2021 folder on your computer, as well. The less you have to hunt for your tools during your writing process the more efficient you can be. Also, think about whether you may need a new keyboard, mouse, or laptop stand to keep your computer screen at a comfortable height for all those long writing stretches.

2. Set up a special writing space.

If you work from home, try to avoid using that same space to write. Writing where you work could potentially zap your creative energy, and we don’t want that for NaNoWriMo. If you can set up a 30-day writing space in your home, start pulling the items you’ll need close by and adding them to your space. If you’re tight on space inside, think about taking your writing time outside to a porch, picnic table, or even an outdoor seat at a coffee shop.

3. Get organized.

Set up your writing space to make it as comfortable and inspiring as possible. Maybe add a candle, a new notebook and pen, a cozy blanket, and anything else you may want nearby. If you’re taking your writing sprints out of the house, pack a special writing bag with anything you’ll need to write away from home. That way, all you have to do is grab that bag on the way out the door.

4. Make a schedule.

Now that you’ve pulled together your writing tools and have decided on a NaNoWriMo writing spot, it’s time to study your November calendar. Your mission is to write a minimum of 1,667 words every day of November to reach your 50,000-word goal by November 30. Create writing appointments for yourself for the entire month, so you always know when, where, and for how long you’ll be writing. This way, you’ll be less inclined to break one of those writing appointments.

5. Create a NaNoWriMo account (or log back in).

Now it’s time to introduce yourself —or re-introduce yourself — to the NaNoWriMo website. Sign in to your account, set up your profile, declare your November 2021 project and start to review the helpful documents NaNoWriMo shares with all participants.

6. Add some flair to your social media.

If you want to declare to everyone who follows your social media accounts that you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, download some flair and add them to your social media accounts. This may help you find some writing friends, too!

7. Stock up on snacks and drinks and do some meal planning.

Knowing you’ll be spending a lot of time in front of your computer for the next month, take some time to stock up on your favorite writing snacks and drinks —and also water to keep you hydrated. You may want to put together a simple meal plan, even if it’s just knowing that you’ll be ordering food delivery for the next 30 days.

8. Find someone to keep you accountable.

Even if you’re going the writing road alone, you can still ask a friend or family member to help hold you accountable for your writing. Ask this person to call, text, or leave you sticky notes to cheer you on during November. Having that level of support goes a long way in getting you to the finish line at the end of the month.

9. Tell your friends and family you’re participating in NaNoWriMo 2021!

It’s the big reveal time! Be sure to tell your friends and family that you’re participating in NaNoWriMo for the next month. Communicate some clear “do not disturb” times for your household and redistribute any chores to free you up for more writing time in November.

10. Start writing!

As soon as the clock strikes 12 a.m. on November 1, you’re an official NaNoWriMo participant!

If you need more help prepping for November, be sure to read our NaNoWriMo articles from past years.


Erika Bennett is the Content Manager for Xulon Press. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than a decade and her passion is to make sure great books find their way into readers' hands. You can also find her writing on

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