CTWS: The NaNoWriMo 2017 Edition

Coffee Talk & Writers Secrets NaNoWriMo 2017.jpg

Coffee Talk & Writers Secrets: The NaNoWriMo 2017 Edition

Hey, writers! How is it going?

I bet you’re writing and editing a storm.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of challenges lately – the biggest of which is a foot which constantly sends pain racing through my body. The way that I deal with it is like any other writer – I focus on something else.

For me, that is the world of The Divantinum Project and its characters. Yeah – if you’re not new here, you’ve heard me babble about TDP for well, forever. It’s the all-consuming project that soaks up my writing time. But the thing is, this November, I’ve dedicated to two things: (1) finishing the first novel which is in an editing stage right now, and (2) drafting Shadow’s Light: TDP Book #4, aka my NaNoWriMo project.

Yes, that means another year of NaNoWriMo! [I think I just heard half of my friends cheer and the other half groan.] I know there are mixed feelings about NaNoWriMo, but I have to admit that I’m a steadfast loyalist who writes by the seat of her pants.


In fact, to gear up for this month’s NaNoWriMo shenanigans, I cleared the decks, swept the cobwebs from the series, and refilled my entire writing bag. I was all geared up…and there are so many events which are happening this month, I felt prepared for anything. Well, anything but my foot in a boot. [Let’s not go there on that saga.]

So I am writing from the comfort of my hobbit hole…here in the Pacific Northwest while rain patters outside the window, dogs snore under the desk, and it’s nice and quiet…until a fly goes by and the Karma dog alarm goes off. We even had a few snowflakes yesterday. She barked at them too.

Can I share a few of my favorite touchpoints this prep time? I think you’ll like them.

I started NaNoWriMo in 2006 and did one novel per year – not including the many April, July, and other month frenzies I had over that time – wow. Yeah, I’ve been doing this for what feels like forever. I started as many do, with John Anealio’s fantastic song which references both writing and Dr. Who: “I Should Be Writing.”

I then moved onto an updated version of the NaNoWriMo Song by Kristina Horner.

I pulled out Stephen King’s On Writing and Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem. And then I really geeked out when I learned that Grant Faulkner wrote Pep Talks for Writers. I spoke with my writing buddies – and agreed with a few that we were going to check in with each other for mutual encouragement.

I created a list to help you focus.

How to be focused during NaNoWriMo

  • Turn off all electronics that you aren’t physically using to write
  • Create a soundtrack for your novel – top seven songs
  • Coffee or tea – find a beverage that works for you
  • Clear your workspace
  • Create a door sign/door decoration that allows others to know what you’re doing and why it’s important.
  • Sit your bum in the chair. Make words.
  • Repeat step 6 until your arranged writing time is done.
  • Rinse and repeat as often as needed

And then I created came up with an unorthodox tip list for you for NaNoWriMo.

  1. Pen and paper, keyboard and fingers.
  2. Writing buddies – you’re going to have an emergency at some point during the month. Have a writing buddy to turn to because they will be your support group when all the other normal people in your life will look at you like you’re crazy.
  3. Fruit and vegetables. Don’t go with junk food – be a clean eats nut who drinks her coffee and eats her salads.
  4. Give yourself permission to write something horrible. Because then you’re going to write with no restrictions – and you’re going to get something deeper and more interesting than you would otherwise. This means you will need to edit – and I mean a lot – but it’s worth it. Trust the panster [novelist who writes by the seat of her pants in the first draft to get the interesting stuff out].
  5. Keep in mind this is a first draft. This is not a finished piece. This is the first step on the path of being a writer.
  6. Write. Seriously – sit down and do your work. In the end, this is the only one that matters – everything else is optional.

I dabbled with the idea of how procrastination can help you be a writer, but then procrastinated on the post so it isn’t ready for this week.

DarWrites Wordle 2017

I did create a list of my mobile bag:

  • Container of some sort – like a messenger bag or a backpack
  • Laptop, charger, and accessories
  • Moleskin notebook and pens
  • Post-it notes
  • -Chapstick and lotion
  • Water bottle
  • Coffee and/or tea container

I made a “Heart of Divantinum” graphic while waiting at the doctor’s office.


Hope these little bits of information help – and I hope that you’re working on the novel that makes you happiest! Keep going, writer!


DarWrites Touchstones

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About Darlene Reilley

Hey, I'm Darlene, a nomadic writer and teacher. If you're looking for writing prompts, inspiration, and a fellow writer to commiserate with, you've come to the right place. If you're a reader looking for a fun mix of poetry, romance, science and fiction, you've found a buddy!
This entry was posted in Creative Writing, Divantinum, How To, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Office and Organization, Romance, Science Fiction, writing craft, writing life, Writing Secrets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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