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Warning! As of today, there are 5 weeks and 4 days until November 1! That’s 39 days. 1,056 hours. 63,360 minutes to do all of your prep work for NaNoWriMo. Have you done your research? Selected your background noise (related music, tv and movies)? Written your outline? Performed maintenance on your machine? Stocked up on paper and ribbons? Picked your chosen software?

I don’t know about you, but I am way behind! I think that I need a pre-nano boot camp. Would anyone care to join me?

1. Week of Sept. 21: Lists! What do you need? What are you low on? What still needs to be researched? Where do you stand? Also make a list of things that need cleared of of your desk–current projects, unrelated reading material, etc.

2. Sept. 28: Get those unrelated projects out of the way. Figure out what needs done now and do it, and pack up (literally or metaphorically) anything that can wait. If you haven’t done so already, decide what project you’ll be working on for the duration.

3. Oct. 5: Write a brief summary, no longer than 1 page. List your stats–genre, theme, setting, the names and 1 sentence bios of your main characters.

4. Oct. 12: Begin your outline and your research. Request any necessary research materials from the library.

5. Oct. 19: Keep outlining. Determine the mechanism for your writing: Underwood? Smith-Corona? Longhand? Word? Storyist? Make sure your desk is stocked with the necessary paper, ink, ribbons, etc and that your tools are in working order. Arrange a backup of some kind, then back up your backup.

No, really.

At this point, all of those extra projects should be off of your desk.

….Have you saved your backup yet?

6. Oct. 26: Only 6 days this week!

Finish your outline. Line up your Netflix queue or create your Itunes playlist. Make sure that all of those extra projects are put to bed. Set up your workspace and whatever you do, for goodness sake, don’t fall into a jibbering mess. it’s only October and we’ve still got all of November to panic!