Get Ready This Preptober

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Preptober is upon us. It is the month of October and is used to prepare for November’s National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as it is more commonly known, or NaNo for short. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write a story of at least 50,000 words. If you write 50,000 words, you are said to have won NaNoWriMo. October, or Preptober as the participants call it, is used for outlining your story so come November 1, they can hit the paper, or computer, with fingers of lightning. During Preptober, there are some things you may want to consider in your preparations, other than just outlining your story.

Food Prep

Eating is an essential part of any day, and we, unfortunately, can not survive on quick items like candy. Plus at least some of us likely have families we also must feed. We can not exactly have them eating as crappily as we are likely to. 

For those who can afford it, services like Doordash, and Uber Eats, may be making additional visits to your home. There are also services, like Hello Fresh, that provide pre-portioned ingredients for you to then cook. The rest of us may have some meal planning to do.

Meal planning for me will involve finding meals that won’t take much time to make. I’ll be looking for meals I can either make ahead and freeze, or where I can cut up ingredients and freeze them. You may prefer meals you can prep your ingredients and throw it all in a pressure or slow cooker. Whatever works best for you.

Create a Playlist

Do you write to music? I write to all kinds of background noise. Sometimes I use ASMR videos in the background, sometimes nothing, sometimes it’s whatever sound effects are coming from the game my husband happens to be playing while I’m trying to write. But sometimes I do like some good music.

A tip for finding songs I’ve found is going to YouTube. Find a themed long collection of music. If the creator is nice, they will have bookmarks with each song and it’s artist in the description. I then take those songs I enjoy and find them in my favorite streaming service. I may then use my streaming service to help find similar songs. I use Spotify and it has a feature where you can take a song and visit the song’s radio. This will play a long list of similar songs you might also enjoy and wish to add to your playlist.

Writing Exercises & Prompts

I know at least some of my weak spots when it comes to writing a new story. I plan to do some writing exercises specific to the issues I have. 

There are also writing craft books covering everything you can think of. Each book, even if they cover the same topics, will have a different view and different suggestions on how to approach your writing. Sometimes these books will have exercises and prompts for you to try as well.


Many companies who have created novel writing software offer their software for free during NaNoWriMo. Then if you participate you could get a discount, and if you win some will offer a higher discount. This is partly how I came to use Scrivener years ago. I heard other writers talking about the software and the features it offers, and I thought I would try it. Loved it, and ended up buying it for a discount. There are much other software offers to choose from as well. Every writer is different, and so is each software option. Or if you don’t love your current software or wonder if you can improve your process, now might be the perfect time to explore other programs out there to be your best and most focused come November.