Happy, happy NaNoWriMo!! I hope you’re off to a great start, burning up the keyboard with your plot map, creating a colorful cast of characters, putting all that research to good use. But if you’re slowing down, dreading the blinking cursor, and feeling stressed, you can avoid the writing but still *technically* work on the novel. Try these tips for NaNoWriMo — how to procrastinate in a productive way:
Make a Pinterest Board
File your visual inspiration into one handy place = Pinterest. Make a secret board for your novel, set the timer for ten or fifteen minutes, and browse to your heart’s content. Look for images of settings, landscapes, homes, etc. Find avatars for your characters. Take a few moments to choose their outfits and distinguishing characteristics like hairstyles, tattoos, and other idiosyncrasies. You can even save articles that may be relevant for research. For my 2018 NaNo novel, I’m saving farming and homesteading how-to’s (because, you know…I’m *so* knowledgeable about that stuff…).
Make a commitment to obey the timer, though, or you’ll find yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole (pin hole?) and fritter away all your writing time.
Create a Soundtrack
Use YouTube, Pandora or Soundcloud to create a playlist for your novel. Pick songs that your characters might choose. Listen to the soundtrack while you write, channeling the various voices of your characters. Let your imaginary friends speak to you through their music…
Design a Cover
Using Canva, PicMonkey, or PhotoShop, create a casual cover for your project. The NaNoWriMo website features a page to personalize your novel, along with a field to upload a cover. It’s not official, just a fun way for other participants to interact with you and your book. Also, when your book’s nearing publication, you can present your own cover to a graphic artist. A professional artist will see what you have in mind and improve upon your vision.
If you *are* a professional designer…set the timer so you don’t go nuts on the graphics instead of writing.
Most of all, have fun!
The many moods and phases of NaNoWriMo are always mysterious, but the urge to procrastinate is sure to draw you away from your November novel. There are times to ignore that urge, and times to give in to it. When you do succumb, try working on your Pinterest board, cover design, or soundtrack. It may inspire you to return to your book and write even faster 🙂
NOW YOU: How do you like to procrastinate during NaNoWriMo? Have you discovered other ways to play, while keeping your project at the focus of your attention?