NaNoWriMo for Newbies: The When of Planning


So you are embarking on the madness called NaNoWriMo. Do you have a plan for when you are going to get all this writing done?

Without a plan, life is likely to get in the way.
Schedule Your Writing Time

Have you set aside weekends, evenings, mornings, a combination? Many students find weekend marathons are an effective plan. I am the mother of four young children; I have to write more than my daily word count during the week, because weekends are crazy. You know your life. What will work for you?

Make a commitment

Tell someone your plan and then check in with them frequently about whether you are keeping the commitment.

Reorganize Daily Routines for Efficiency

If you need to, make a plan for handling daily routines more efficiently. I usually fold laundry while watching television. It makes the laundry folding take longer, but I enjoy the process more. I can make a few more writing minutes if I were to fold laundry without the television. Are there similar changes you can make to your schedule?

Think about the things that usually cause time stress in your life and make sure you have a plan for them. For me, it means I need to be more organized than usual about snacks for the kids and preparations for their activities, because I won’t have time for last-minute, “What do you mean your skates need sharpening and your water bottle cracked and it’s five minutes til you have to be on the ice for your game?”

Revisit the Plan as You Go

Don’t be afraid to change your plan once you get into November if you find it isn’t working for you, but make sure you make a new one before you give up on the old one.

What is your plan for making time to write? Share in the comments add strengthen your commitment to yourself.

I will be writing for an hour in the morning and then making up the rest of my daily word count after the kids go to bed. What about you?


5 Resources for NaNoWriMo

So you want to write a novel?  And you think NaNoWriMo might help you do it.

It might. But only if you do it right.

A few years back, I was in your shoes. My brother had just run his first marathon and I wanted to show him that I, too, could complete a mammoth challenge. I hadn’t written much fiction in decades, but had spent much of those years struggling to find my way into and around the plot of a novel.  NaNoWriMo fit the bill.

I signed up on October 22nd, started writing on November 1st, and claimed my winner’s certificate on November 28th, having learned how much I didn’t know about writing a novel.

Here, for your benefit, are 5 things I wish I had read before I started:

And, if you are looking for a reason not to participate in NaNoWriMo, you could always read Better yet, DON’T write that novel.