NaNoWriMo 2013 Prep

So it’s been roughly four years since my last attempt at NaNoWriMo. Mainly because those four years have been spent playing Mum instead. My last attempt in 2009 was a complete fizzle – I spent more time soothing a crying child and catching up on sleepless nights than nurturing a wordcount. This year however I’m claiming November as “me-time” and committing to getting NaNo done!

My prep so far:

– Told my family to block out November as “me-time” for Mum.

– Updated my account info on My nickname’s LastDance on there. Feel free to add me as a writing buddy!

– Got my writers ideas notebook ready. It’s just a little notebook that fits in my handbag. Only a couple of pages of ideas so far, but fast adding to it.

– Picked up a copy of Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem for my kindle – for only $1.99! Now that’s a bargain.

– Downloaded Scrivener and gave it a whirl. I know it’s not necessary for NaNo, but it does look really cool and if I like it and hit the 50K word count I can purchase it for 50% off. They have a really great trial offer going specifically for NaNoWriMo participants – instead of the usual 30 day trial it will keep running until December 7th.

– Got some Rory’s Story Cubes to play with. These things are brilliant – never be stuck for a plot idea again! Aimed at the kids, they’re still good idea joggers for adults. I purchased the Android app – it’s like having a set of virtual story dice in your phone. You just shake the phone to roll the dice, complete with sound effects. My son loves them 🙂  The app only costs around $2 and comes with two sets of 9 dice. An extra $2 or so gets you another set of 9 dice – so for around $4 you can have all three main sets of dice. Can’t wait to play with this one more.

– Attended a planning day for my NaNoWriMo Region and the Kick Off Party. Meeting other Wrimo’s is definitely the way to go – it adds instant motivation and assures you that anything you’re worrying about to do with NaNo, others are too. Even better – someone has probably got just the right advice or a ready made solution to whatever your worry or problem was about 🙂

So, are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Do you have any tips for preparation?

To Smash Or Not To Smash …

I’ve watched the Smashbook phenomena grow and grow since the first advertising teasers for the Smash* range were released by K&Company. At the time I was just finishing off a journal and on the lookout for a new one. It took some time for Smash* to become available in Australia though, so I ended up purchasing another of my tried and true large Moleskines.

Peanuts Moleskine Journal

I kept coming back for looks through the Smash* range though and liking what I saw. The Smashbook concept is great in it’s ease and simplicity, providing a framework that anyone can work with and embellish to create a journal in their own personal style. While by no means a new concept, the Smash* product range provides a ready-made set of tools to get you set up and smashing fast.

A quick search for the tag #smashbook on Instagram or Tumblr shows how popular they are with the younger crowd. I think this is fantastic – many of these young people comment that this is the first kind of “journal” they have ever kept, so the Smashbook craze is encouraging fledgling journalers to pick up their pens (and glue sticks) and express themselves on paper. The Smash* framework takes away that fear of the blank page and the lively communities on social media provide encouragement and inspiration. Most importantly, the whole Smashbook concept promotes the idea that there is no wrong way to do it.

30-615007Now I find myself at a bit of a crossroads journaling-wise. I’m not yet near the end of my current journal (my standard large blank Moleskine) but I find myself wanting a little more space to work with and a little more colour to liven things up a bit. I’ve found I’m not really much of an art journaler, more of a long written entry followed by a page or two of smashed in stuff, followed by more pages of writing, more smashed in stuff … you get the idea. So I’m considering a Smash* brand Smashbook.

On the other hand, I’m one of those people who has to have a journal that “fits” and feels right, otherwise I end up not journaling at all. I’m wondering if the spiral binding would annoy me, if the page thickness would be just-right and if pre-decorated page backgrounds would perhaps be too restrictive. You know, turning to a pink page when it’s really all about green today, or running out of room trying to fit words in around the decorative elements.

A small part of me also wonders if I am perhaps just a little too old for the whole thing too. Shouldn’t people my age be keeping staid and mysterious journal entries on crisp white pages between formal black covers?

Meh, I still think it would be lots of fun to try. What do you think?

What type of journal do you think I should I try next?

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Do you keep a journal yourself? What kind of notebook do you use? Have you used a Smash* book? I’d love to hear about it!