Three Days (and counting)

NaNo is closer than ever and I see a lot of people saying that they’re not ready. Here’s what you should do today.

Decide Where You’re Writing

Are you using Google Drive? Word? Notepad? Evernote? Something else? Decide which program is best for you. Some programs have wordcounters, some don’t. Word displays it in the bottom corner.

Not everyone needs to use a word processor with a built in word count – I do, but some people may find that annoying or stressful rather than helpful. If you’re not using something with a processor, decide how often you’ll be checking your word count in an outside program.

Create a File

Open the word processor of your choice, open a blank doc, name it, save it, and close it. Don’t start your novel. Yes, I know its tempting. Just don’t.

Give it a good title, either the title you've chosen for your story, or something like "NaNo 2015."
Give it a good title, either the title you’ve chosen for your story, or something like “NaNo 2015.”

Create Your Info on NaNoWriMo’s Website

NaNo’s website is the center of your life this time month, here’s where you updateScreen Shot 2015-10-29 at 10.10.23 AM and track your progress, communicate with others, and get inspiration. The first thing you should do is post information about your novel. The time you’re writing it, title, genre, a optional cover image, a summary, and an excerpt. The excerpt can wait until you’ve started writing, but everything you may already be able to fill in. (unless you’ve decided just to start writing with no idea of where you’re going, in which case, kudos to you).

In addition to the novel page you have a page about you. Have fun with it.

This is only some of the interesting information on your profile.
This is only some of the interesting information on your profile.

Provided you use the same account every year, which you should, it tracks a lot of information, which is quite cool. Here’s some of my page. You can also add personal information, such as your birthdate, age, website, facts, and a bio for your friends to explore. Feel free to add me (book-kitty)

Get Badges

Here are my badges.
Here are my badges.

Next we’re going to try and get badges for you. Even if you got all your badges in a previous year, you’re starting over fresh. If you’ve followed my suggestions on previous days, you should have three badges, one for adding info to your author bio, one for joining the local part of your community, and one for adding friends, or ‘buddies.’ You may even have one for the forums, which I said you should visit, (and I did), but now lets leave a comment to get our next badge. I recommend starting with the Special Offers and Greetings forum. Read through some of that information, then pop down to NaNo prep. Under that section I chose this one, about the pains of waiting to start writing.

If you hold your mouse over a profile picture, it will tell you where the person is, how long they’ve been a NaNo-er, and how many forum posts they’ve made. I’m a bit ashamed to admit I’ve only made four posts, the number I’ve needed to get my badge each year. My goal this year is to be more active in forums, commenting on them instead of just reading them and oo-ing. If you want to find me, I’ll probably be hanging out in my favorite forum, adoption society. (I would like to note that the first thread is one I’ve never seen: adopt a torture (this is going to be an interesting year))

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