Have you done a NaNoWriMo Preparation Checklist?
Story basics (main characters, story flow maybe, desired outcome)
Story particulars (researched details, outline if wished for, stuff you want to make sure is in there)
Atmosphere (where and when will you write?)
Family & Friends know not to talk to you for a month
Support Squad if required
Have you checked off all of the above that apply to you?
Do not obsess over NaNo, that’s what. Get your NaNo flair, show it around if you want, but otherwise . . .
Really. Do some reading for pleasure. Engage in other hobbies. Visit friends. Binge-watch a favorite or new show on Netflix or something.
Do stuff that—if you do it during the month of NaNo?—you will likely feel guilty because you’re doing that and not writing.
Something very important to remember about writing: You want to bring as much reality into your work as you can. Even if you’re writing about an alien race of insectile heroes on another world, there is a lot from your every day life that you can and should include. Details of thoughts, feelings, interactions. Engage all five senses as much as possible in your life, and practice taking notes about what there is around you.
Become like Sherlock Holmes: Do not just SEE, but OBSERVE. Reasons for being, reactions to stimuli, cause and effect . . . if you’re not actively writing, you can still be engaging in the process of being a writer. It all matters.
All of it.
Your life is your own private story, into which has been poured a variety of personal experiences that you can distill and interpret and share with others through the medium of words. Practice using those words to make as rich a story as you can.
Speak them aloud. Write them down. Type them on a screen. Process them from your mind through your heart to your lips or fingers and bring them into being in a new form.
This is the joy of the writer. This is where the real work happens.
Then, on November 1st, open up a new document or bring out a fresh sheet of paper if that is your preference. Take a breath, open up your mind, and let the words happen.
It’s a rush.
And I will have my pompoms on hand to cheer you on as you write!