My Not Wri-Mo Thing + 5 Last-minute Preptober Checklist

Hullo, world!

I’m back again from the collab. If you missed it, check out Brooke’s post here and mine on her blog, Words In Her Soul. Brooke is an amazing person and I had so much fun doing this!

This past few weeks have been kind of tough for me as I started a new job which was mostly night shifts. I never thought  I would have to come back home at such ungodly hours like 5 am. But I’m recovering, and I only have one more day to go, so that’s a score. 

Today you will finally be let on about my plans for November. If any of you recall last year, you’ll remember me dying halfway through the month. (Not to mention the emotional breakdown I had. That was kind of ugly.) It’s because I was a senior last year grinding my soul to get into Ivy Leagues. (News Flash: I didn’t get in!) That time was pretty heart-breaking for me, really, that I want to jump back in time and give my 17-yr-old self a hug. 

What I mean is this: If you’re a senior, stay away from the insane writing challenge that happens in November like the plague. You should take care of yourself first. 

Now that I’d gotten the ugly portion of the introduction out of the way, let’s dive into my Not Wri-Mo thing. 

As some of you may already know, NaNoWriMo–the organization–has been promoting liberal ideas. It’s easiest to see that on their Instagram (i. e. Variations of their logo as LGBTQ2+ flags, etc.) and if you receive updates, some of the things they say or encourage is frankly a little overboard. At least to me. 

Now, I’m not saying that they shouldn’t promote these things. They have their freedom of speech, and anyone who doesn’t agree does not have to support them. But as a Christian, I’ve come to the conclusion that I should probably find an alternative path to November’s Writing month. Because, you know, I love NaNoWriMo! I don’t not want to do it! I prayed a lot about this the past three months, and I realised I could still do NaNoWriMo…But on a different platform. 

This year, I’m self-hosting Meno-WriMo on WriteTrack. Meno is “Remain” in Greek, and I pulled up John 15:16 as the central verse to go with the challenge. It is a bit lonely as I’m doing this by myself, but if anyone is on WriteTrack, you can find me there as S. J. Barnard. 

Okay. Now that it’s out of the way, here’s my 5 Last-minute Preptober Checklist. Because, as you all know, I have a tendency to push things to the last minute. Super healthy exercise for Planners. 

1: Decide on a book to write 

Easy, right? Except I’m in the middle of Elijacomb 17 right now, and I also kind of want to revenge-finish Elektriem from last year…

2: Make a playlist 

This one I’ve already finished. I’ve started making Character Playlist advised by Brooke, and frankly, we’ve written all about it on the collab last week. Playlist rulz!

3: Stock up on tea, coffee, and cocoa 

I cannot stress this point enough. I did a mini-study when I was in my science research-ship, and having warm beverages beside you do kind of help when trying to bang out an insane amount of wordcounts. Trust me. 

4: Find a Journal 

This, I believe, I talked about a few posts ago. WIP journaling is a good idea to do, and I plan to use mine sort of like a half-BuJo, half-idea notebooking thing. I did this for Woodstone Abbey  (which was my Camp NaNo project this year) and I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. This way, you won’t forget that MC’s best friend’s name. 

5: Have fun! 

I know, I sound like a broken record. But seriously, have fun with it! If you don’t enjoy writing (or at least can’t even pretend to enjoy it), what’s the point? Of course, you might be like, “This is the one thing to kick start my dormant writing life!” I totally understand that. Yet at the same time, writing is something we do because it sparks joy. I personally come alive when I write. So do please have fun with it. Or try to pretend. 

+1: Enlist a crying buddy

I almost forgot. You will probably suffer…And I know, this comes after my ”have fun” speech. It sounds paradoxical, but trust me. You will have some days when you just want to give up because you deleted everything you’ve written the past hour. That’s where your crying buddy comes to pick up your bones and helps you stand up again. (For me, it will be my sister. Thanks for volunteering!)

And that’s it for today. Wow, I feel like I stuffed a lot of details into this post! Thanks for bearing with me 🙂

Are you going to write 50K this November? Do you have a “crying buddy” to pick up your bones during and after November? Let me know in the comments below: I’d love to hear your thoughts!

7 thoughts on “My Not Wri-Mo Thing + 5 Last-minute Preptober Checklist

  1. Great list. Having a writing journal is so key, because I do list down my writing ideas haphazardly on pieces of scrap paper as well as my regular journal, but when the time comes to actually look them up, I forget where I put them. So yes, keep a dedicated writing journal! Thanks for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ack this sounds AMAZING!! I’m editing my second book at the moment, getting it ready for my lovely editor, so I won’t be doing any sort of writing challenges this year. But I definitely love the CONCEPT of writing like crazy and the concept of preptober and ALL THE WRITING SUPPORT ACK!!

    I definitely have a crying buddy/fangirl buddy. My best friend always encourages me in my writing and she’s amazing herself at writing. So we kind of balance each other which is fun.

    I AM SO EXCITED to hear you’ve made a character playlist!! They’re addicting to make, not gonna lie xD

    Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely post, S.J.! I agree with all the points! Though I journal in a separate document in my Scrivener file. I’m doing a not-NaNo like you, though I’ve kind of already started. My goal is to hopefully write the first draft of my genderbent Cinderella retelling by the end of November. I don’t really have a crying buddy but I do have a friend that I might be able to enlist and be her buddy as well.

    I hope writing goes great for you!!! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, thanks for the tips, S.J.! I am planning to do NaNo this year but I’ve fallen wretchedly far behind in my prep. #procrastinationqueen 🙄

    Cheers to you on getting a new job! 😊 That’s awesome! Are you enjoying it? (but, wow, yeah, night shift doesn’t sound too fun…)

    I respect your decision to discontinue using the NaNo site. I understand why people are leaving and while I personally plan to stay, I support the people who are not. I hope you have tons of fun this year working on your project!!! 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] So that’s kind of where I’m at. Although I feel all over the place, looking at it this way makes me realise I hadn’t been wasting my time or anything. (I know, that’s the grand revelation we come to.) I’m still kind of on the fence whether I should do Camp NaNo this year or not, but last year I got solid wordcounts in for Woodstone and would like to do that, so I guess I’m leaning into doing it. Not on the website, though. (If you’re curious about this, read this post I did last October.)  […]


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