It’s October! And if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year like I am, then you know what that means… it’s time for #preptober!
Last year was my first year participating in NaNoWriMo, and although I didn’t quite finish, it was the experience of a lifetime. I made it to 29,642 words (juuuuuuuuuust shy of the 50,000-word goal 😅), and I loved every minute of it!
I blame my “failure” last year on the fact that Mr. Boho Berry came back from an 8-month deployment right in the middle of the month. Between having my husband back home and the craziness the beginning of the holiday season, I hit an early plateau around the 20th of the month.
If you’re reading this and wondering what the heck I’m talking about… here’s a quick explanation for you:
National Novel Writing Month began back in 1999 and has taken place each year during the month of November.
Starting on November 1st, participants from all over the world embark on a challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. The challenge is simple: Don’t start writing until November 1st, and finish writing at least 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th.
National Novel Writing Month is also a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which encourages writers of all ages through programs like The Young Writers Program, Camp NaNoWriMo, and the Come Write In Program.
I have to admit that this is probably my favorite part about NaNoWriMo. The organization’s commitment to community outreach and development really strikes a chord with me. So much so, that I’ve committed to donating $10 each and every month to the cause.
NaNoWriMo’s Mission Statement:
“National Novel Writing Month believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.”
This year, I’m going to be what WriMos call a “Rebel”.
While the idea behind NaNoWriMo is to complete a draft of a brand new novel, I’m taking a bit of a different approach.
Since I didn’t finish my 50,000-word draft last year, I’ve decided to continue writing the same story. I fell in love with my story, my characters, and the world that I built last November. I feel like I have an unfinished story to tell, and it’s just waiting to spill out of me this year.
#Preptober last year was spent doing research, developing my characters, and setting up my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal.
This year — since I’m sticking to the same plot and characters — all of the groundwork is already done for me. I’m essentially picking up right where I left off, so #preptober is pretty simple.
I started out by creating a new cover page for 2017 in my NaNoWriMo Bullet Journal. To be honest, I’m not entirely happy with my giant fountain pen nib that I drew… but you know what? That’s ok!
My #preptober checklist is all set up and I’ve even managed to mark off a few tasks so far! The main items that still need to be completed are updating my NaNoWriMo profile, deciding which write-ins to attend this year, and conducting a thorough review of my plot, characters, and everything that I’ve written so far.
On the right, you can see my Survival Kit checklist. These are the items that I absolutely can’t live without come November.
Next up are my October and November timelines. I’ve color-coded events in three categories – NaNoWriMo, Work, and Personal. This spread helps me to visualize what commitments I have outside of NaNo that may get in my way while I’m trying to crank out 1,667 words per day in November.
Once I decide on my write-ins, I’ll add them to my November timeline as well.
One of my favorite parts of NaNoWriMo last year was filming weekly vlogs over on YouTube. I’m excited to continue that tradition this year!
The final spread is my word count tracker for 2017. The tracker on the left stayed pretty much the same as last year. The only difference is that I added some dashed lines to separate the weeks.
On the right-hand side, I decided to create a weekly progress log. Each day, I’ll color in that day’s square based on whether I didn’t meet, met, or exceeded that day’s word count goal. I’ve also left a space to log how many words I wrote for the entire week.
Just like last year, I decided to turn my word count tracker into a free printable for you!
I’ve designed this year’s printable to print on A4 sized paper so that you can easily trim it in half to fit your A5 size notebook. You can, of course, print it on Letter sized paper as well, just keep in mind that it will have larger margins.
The tracker itself is undated (no weekdays) so that you can use it, again and again, every year. I even tweaked it a little bit from the original design in my notebook and made it even better!
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Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.