Nano: The Mindset


You wake up and grumble. It’s too early. You drink your coffee, it’s too bitter. You drive to school or work. It’s too crowded. Your good day, without a major shift, was over as soon as you were sad your eyes were open. Your mindset did you in.

How Do We Make Nano Different?

Nano begins, you’re expecting to be done early because you are completely organized you feel like all you need is a handful of words to fill the gaps of your outlines and you’ll be done.

Nano begins, it’s your first time committing to it, and based on what you’ve seen and your own talents, you’re sure you’ll be published come December.

Nano begins, and you are worried that it will last a week. Just a week before you give up.


All of these scenarios set you up for failure and disappointment. You (hopefully) wouldn’t begin a month of fasting with glutting yourself, or a month of good deeds with an argument. For best effect, you have to approach Nano not just with a healthy dose of novel-prep, but with cautious optimism and fierce determination.

Find and Protect Your Sacred Writing Time

For thirty days, your biggest task is to safeguard the time you need to spend each day writing. The month is as much about generating good habits as it is about having a “complete” novel draft. If you miss a day, you make it up. If you glut yourself on a day, you can be “done” early–try not to skip days in the middle of the month when you are ahead.

Find what works for you: early mornings, late evenings, midday lunch crush… If the first attempt doesn’t pan out, try again. Give yourself permission to continually adjust your approach. For these thirty days, Nano gives you the chance to put your writing above other tasks–children, spouses, pets, paid work, homework not included. You don’t have to feel bad about some backlog in dishes and laundry. You don’t have to be frustrated with neglected vacuuming. Write.

Stay The Course

Focus on the hope to emerge with a story you can refine into something publishable. Focus on the effort to build a new routine that works for you. Experiment and run. Make your findings a priority, and fight to give yourself permission to carry your habits into the whole time this year.






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