NaNo Prep

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Back when I was a practicing Wiccan (it didn’t stick, I really sucked at being a witch. I really suck at being anything with a set practice of rituals) I read in a book on Wiccan rituals that the circle started well before calling the corners and lighting the candles. It started when you got into the mind set. It started in the preparations. And it’s the same way for NaNo. Wrimos love November because they finally get to start writing, but I love October. I love the preparation and the anticipation. I love getting in the mind set of writing like a maniac.

One of my Wiccan friends told me that she uses a certain CD to get in the mind set for a ritual. Her ritual starts when she turns on the CD and begins to prepare for the circle. And her brain is now hard-wired to get into that mind set whenever she hears those songs, even if it’s the middle of a random Tuesday. So I tried that, and it worked. To this day when I hear the Prologue to “The Book of Secrets”, by Loreena McKennit, I am immediately put in the frame of mind of the ritual. And I can do the same for my writing. “The Mystic’s Dream” or “All Souls Night” (also Loreena McKennit) puts me right into Fie Eoin, wherever I am. Most of Loreena’s songs put me in Fie Eoin. Mat Kearney conjures up Apollo and his crew. “Come Alive” by the Foo Fighters makes me think of Holly and the Manticore, or Karigan and Bar depending on my mood. Many Dave Matthews songs make me think of Rebecca and Lane. And “What I Wouldn’t Do” by A Fine Frenzy or “St Stephen’s Cross” by Vienna Teng makes me think of Neona and Book of Souls.

It’s a convenient little trick, using music to put you in the right frame of mind. When I want to work on Fie Eoin – no matter what I’m doing – I can turn on the playlist and I’m there, ready to listen to Kindra and Kaye. And when I’m planning Book of Souls this month and writing it next month I’ll play A Fine Frenzy, Vienna Teng, and the Avatar soundtrack (I happened to be storylining BoS when I first listened to the soundtrack, so instead of reminding me of the movie it now puts me straight into Neona’s world. Unfortunately the CD doesn’t work in my car or on my work computer :/).

What about you? Do you have any rituals to prepare and get yourself in the writing mind frame? Are there any albums or songs that remind you of your characters and your worlds?

Don’t forget to visit the other Wrimos in the blogchain and find out how they prepare for NaNoWriMo!

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Rebecca Enzor

Rebecca Enzor is a chemist in Charleston, SC who writes Young Adult and New Adult Fantasy and Magical Realism. Repped by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.

8 thoughts on “NaNo Prep”

  1. Yes! I have been on such a Coldplay kick because of this novel I’m working on now. I also have some DMB and other tunes, but the book just flows to certain tunes. I also have some songs that seem to inspire writing like “Unwritten” (of course).
    I signed up on the chain too 🙂 and for the record, I decided long ago that I could not handle religions that were too organized, including Wicca 🙂

  2. I love “Unwritten” – it’s totally a Fie Eoin song to me 🙂 (most songs are Fie Eoin songs to me). The only problem with this song-relating-to-a-story thing is that if I’m working on one story and hear the song from another story on the radio I get confused 😛

    Glad you are part of the blogchain! And glad to find a fellow un-organized spiritualist 😛

  3. I’m too easily distracted by music to use it to motivate me to write! For me, the prep itself is the ritual. I long ago realized that I enjoyed the research and outlining stages more than the actual writing! LOL Right now I’m in the midst of creating my characters for NaNo and just realized that my vague story idea is actually going to need scenes to move the plot forward, which I plan on tackling this weekend. As far as any other rituals–just making sure my favorite jammies are clean and there is a nice selection of coffee pods in the cupboard!

  4. I fell into the ritual of coffee sort of by accident – an all-nighter with just me, my computer, a notebook and several cups of coffee during nano a few years ago has created a lasting association. The closer to November it is, the more the taste of coffee makes me want to break out into frenzied writing.

  5. Ha, that’s classical conditioning at work there. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell? …Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
    I’ve gotten into the habit of writing in the early afternoon and late at night, and it feels wrong if I’m not writing at those times. But that’s about it.

  6. Indeed – I have Pavloved myself! (that sounds dirty!)

    I definitely can’t write in the morning. I’ve always had a job that was busy in the mornings, so I’m also conditioned to write in the afternoon/evenings.

  7. I am not nearly as prepared for the writing frenzy to begin tomorrow as I was hoping to be – I WISH I had some music that would trigger me! Unfortunately music makes me dreamy and contemplative, but not productive! (unless it’s dance music that helps me when I’m cleaning house).

    But, I still have the rest of the day today to burrow into my outline and flesh out my character notes… that should help…

    By the way, I have an award for you on my blog, since I’ve enjoyed visiting yours!

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