NaNoWriMo Prep: 5 Ways to Get Ready Now


It’s almost National Novel Writing Month! With the NaNoWriMo challenge only weeks away, many (well, most) of us writers are scrambling to get our ideas together—or just realizing that it’s time to starting preparing.

Many of us (myself included) balk at the idea of NaNoWriMo simply because we didn’t have enough time to mentally prepare. But it doesn’t have to be that scary if we take the time now to ramp ourselves up for the writing event.

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The First Step to Every Content Strategy

The First Step to Every Content Strategy via

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My writing game needed a serious makeover. As my readers know, over the years I’ve written a full-length play—thanks to my version of NaNoWriMo!—so hard part’s been done.

Or so I thought.

There’s more work that goes into the hustle of getting that piece out there than the actual creation of it.

Just ask any writer. In content marketing, the team pulls together the strategy to publish and promote the writing. In publishing, the writer must figure out how to get their writing published and decide who to contact to make that dream happen.

And let’s not forget all the networking and contract signing that happens in between.

For my play, that means finding the right theatre to produce my work—and knowing when to reach out.

(Content strategists: Keep reading. You’ll soon see how this matters to you.)

I’ve had a submission strategy in place for some time. But now I was able to unleash the second phase of it. It wasn’t that I was hesitant or that I needed more information. It was because now was the right time.

I’ve done my research on the venues best suited for my play’s audience. And now that these theatres are starting to plan their next season, I’ve decided to jump on the opportunity by making my own introduction.

Gutsy? I think so.

I’ve actually wanted to get this going for some time. But if I reached out too soon, I would’ve received these kinds of emails:

  • An email saying that they’ll keep me in mind when they do play their next season, then letting my email disappear in the chaos of their inbox
  • An email asking for me to reach out later in the year without a specific timeframe
  • No email at all

I had to commit to my plan of waiting for the right time to reach out in order to increase my odds of starting an optimistic conversation with a theatre committee.

Because the first step to any content strategy is committing to the strategy you created.

That sounds like an easy step. I’m sitting down at my desk writing or typing up what I plan to do to get this piece of writing out. Isn’t that enough commitment to the project?

Not quite. Sometimes we like the ideas that we brainstorm more than the actual grunt-work that makes those ideas happen. So ideas that could expose your writing to thousands of readers stays locked away as words on a piece of paper.

I’m also not saying to stick to steps on the plan that simply won’t work anymore. If you’ve done some research after your plan that makes it clear that one of your strategies isn’t a valuable option, then the obvious decision is to cut it.

What I am saying is to commit to carrying out this plan. Don’t make the strategy to hang on your fridge. Don’t make a strategy to show your peers that you have intentions. Commit that you will start the plan from start to finish, even if that plan needs revising.

And plan for that plan to start immediately—even today.

What is the first step to your content strategy? Share your thoughts below.

My NaNoWriMo Round 3: Week 5


Louisville Caverns Zipline to Hell

Last day of NaNoWriMo! Not only did I hit the road for the holidays, but I also completed my goals for National Novel Writing Month before we entered the month of December.

Not only did I visit Columbus for Thanksgiving this year, but the family took a short trip down to Louisville. As you can see, the ziplining there was pretty awesome!

Here’s my last update for this year’s (and my version of) NaNoWriMo:

My Progress

Since last week, I submitted my play to four theatre opportunities as promised. They were scattered all around the U.S. this time. Some opportunities were to develop the play while others were to perform it in full.

My Struggles

I had two obstacles this week. Fortunately, one was a very good problem to have.

The not-so-very-good problem was that I struggled to find play opportunities this week. Last week, I simply narrowed my search to Chicago and found a wealth of opportunities. I didn’t have this luck putting in other cities. So I spent many hours digging for opportunities that were a good fit for my play.

My Successes

The good problem I had was that I had a commitment deadline to meet. I wanted to finish up my NaNoWriMo goals before I left for Thanksgiving, so I pushed myself early in the week (in between bouts of packing) to get all my submissions in. That way, my family had my full attention during the holiday.

My Goals


NaNoWriMo ends tomorrow. While I won’t have formal goals to post weekly, I’ll still aim to submit my play more and more now that it’s become a habit.

You can also expect my blog to resume its normal blogging schedule. I have some exciting blog posts coming up about creative writing and content marketing. I can’t wait to share them with you!

November is a special month for me because it’s when I first began my blog. This November marks the third year that I’ve blogged at Thank you for your readership and support in keeping this blog going!

How did you do on your NaNoWriMo goals? Share your experience below.