The years ago I launched myself into the pit that is Nanowrimo. And by launched I mean I was coerced by my sister. And by coerced I mean I resisted until I was almost a week late to the game and had no outline, idea, or inspiration.

So I found myself flipping through 40 pages of mediocre, angst-ridden writing for a project I started in the 7th grade. It was painful to read, but it had good bones, and for some reason, I’d saved it for almost 15 years. It had to be fate, right?

I think the first day I only mustered up about 700 words or so, but I wrote *something*. Every day, I wrote something. My middle child was 2 at the time, and I was shuffling her between therapies multiple times a week. Sometimes I wrote with her on my lap. Sometimes I wrote with her on my shoulders. Sometimes nothing came to me and I just wrote random scenes to be reworked or tossed later. Sometimes I found myself inspired and would write until life forced me to stop. (That thing that JK Rowling said about living in squalor while she wrote Harry Potter? I bet it included a lot of nights of cereal for dinner too).

By the end of November, I had myself 50,000 words of beautiful chaos. It only took another two to finish it, edit it, and ignore it before finally getting it ready for publication. I can’t help but wonder if it may have been a faster, cleaner process if I had jumped in during October and had an outline. So this year that is my goal: To have a decent plot outline finished before November so I can rock Nanowrimo 2016 (Spoiler: Kala’s story isn’t over).

As part of this process, I’ll be taking a writing workshop online. You know, with all that free time I have in between shuffling kids to school, therapies, sports, and doing that self-care thing (spoiler: writing is part of my self-care so I’m killing two birds with one stone here. Take THAT to-do list :p)

Nano writers: How are you tackling October? What is your plotting strategy?