NaNoWriMo 2017 – It’s #preptober!

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:

NaNoWriMo Explained


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 ProgramCamp 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.”

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo 2017?!? This is my second year participating, and today I'm walking you through my #preptober checklist!


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.

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo 2017?!? This is my second year participating, and today I'm walking you through my #preptober checklist!

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!

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo 2017?!? This is my second year participating, and today I'm walking you through my #preptober checklist!

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.

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo 2017?!? This is my second year participating, and today I'm walking you through my #preptober checklist!

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!

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo 2017?!? This is my second year participating, and today I'm walking you through my #preptober checklist!

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!

Who's ready for NaNoWriMo 2017?!? This is my second year participating, and today I'm walking you through my #preptober checklist!

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!

If you’re a Boho Berry Tribe Member, you can find the new NaNoWriMo printable in the Tribe Resource Library today! If not, you can click on the image above (or right here) to get signed up 😊



  • Access to the Tribe Resource Library, chock full of FREE printables. New printables added every two weeks!
  • Admission into the Tribe Facebook Group, where we support and encourage each other daily.
  • An invite to my monthly Live Q&A exclusive to Tribe Members!
  • A 10% off coupon for Boho Berry Paperie for each month that you remain a Tribe Member.

You will also receive the Boho Berry Newsletter every Friday -- chock full of motivation, inspiration, updates and more!

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Kara Benz
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.
  • One of these years I will participate in NANOWRIMO – I’ve intended to several times but November is always soooo busy. This year starts being busy in October as my son returns from deployment and I have not scheduled anything because much will depend on when exactly that is (hopefully within the next 10-14 days). So I am again sitting out the writing challenge. Funny as I read the prologue of a start of a story just the other day that was to be what I would write for NANOWRIMO back in 2003 I think. So it’s been quite awhile since I’ve actually thought about this challenge. Also I’m trying to get my business website up and running- boy have I put a lot on my plate this fall….
    I love your resources tho- that tracker is awesome. It’s so encouraging when you see your progress- or that you need to step it up a bit…

  • Hilma Sinkinson

    I have a pdf of the reverse Nano write schedule that sounds like it may work for you. It schedules the bulk of your writing at the beginning of the month with a reduced number of words each day. It is not my idea and I found it online. If you want more info, just let me know.

  • Maribel Del Cid

    Hey, I’m new to this nanowrimo, I’ve startet my own story i the spring, I know what my story is about, who the characters are and I have my outline ( mostly in my head), and I’m stock with the outline –> to get it from my head to paper, even though i know whats going to happen.
    So I think; why not use nanowrimo to get the kick in the arse to move on and get to writting it down.
    So all the inspiration that I can get about sceduels, bullet journal and yeah, just the planning ahead :)
    So thank you for your vlog and blog :)

  • Yay! So glad you are doing NaNoWriMo again, Kara, and of course your free printable is lovely. I’m doing #Preptober this year, so if anyone else is looking for planning help, I’m posting every day on my Buttontapper blog about character development, plotting, etc.

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  • Chimica Espinosa

    I was a ghostwriter for over 10 years. In that time i wrote over 500 pieces that included close to 2 dozen novels. Time never allowed me to actually write a novel for myself. When i got burnt out from ghostwriting drama in 2015 i couldn’t see myself writing ever again. The main reason i couldn’t was because I use to write for money not for fun. Removing the elements of ” will the client like this, when is this due to the proofreader, how soon to list on kindle was too difficult :( and that of course sucks because i do have story ideas ! Yesterday i came across your video . When i saw that you were writing your novel in a notebook and just counting words manually i knew i could do that ! It was like a light of hopeful freedom. My handwriting is horrible so i know the pressure to publish would be gone. So I wanted to thank you for that. While it was simple .. it really helped. :) And some advice I’d share with you – when you get any writers block search Kindle premade book covers. The designers use mock titles that can be inspiring. And look at the kindle forum too – tons of full time writers there have plenty of advice too. Thanks again.

  • I’m gearing up for my second year of Nano. I used your awesome printable for last years and loved it. I just wanted to say thanks and get some inspo for making one this year. ^_^

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  • ty for the NaNo printable! I love it.

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  • Renaya Moore

    *crying* oh how i wish you’d put more Nano printables up T.T this looks so awesome….

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