NaNoWriMo is only a month away, so what better way to prepare than to follow these suggested tips to help you get in shape for the challenge of writing 50,000 words in just 30 days?
This week it’s less about what you’ll be writing and more about WHEN. You might be a panster when writing, but remember that old saying – ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ – so why not give these a go?
1. Create a weekly timetable to identify when you’ll have time to write
Firstly, do this based on your typical schedule. Block out any time that you know you won’t be able to write – work, sleep, travel etc. Then highlight any opportunities that you might have to write in – lunch breaks, evenings, weekends. This will give you an overview of when you might have opportunity to write.
Then you could try tip #2.
2. Do some time trials over the next month
Based on your schedule try and do some writing in those spaces that you’ve identified as writing time. It’s all well and good saying that you’re going to get in 1,000 words in your work lunch break, but if you can’t write productively there, or can only thrash out 400 words then you’re going to fall behind pretty quick.
The time trials will help clarify when your best writing periods are and what your average word count might be in each space/time.
Once you’ve done these two tips you can create a timeable for the month of November and put in all your planned events (Thanksgiving is a major one for our US/Canada buddies) alongside any time you plan to write. This will provide you with a good outline of your individual targets and any days where you might need to pick up the slack after falling behind.
The time trials can really help if you ever fall behind the target word goal – knowing that you can catch up 400 words in lunch and then another 600 in that half hour before dinner can get you back in track in just one day, even if you don’t typically plan to write during these times everyday.
3. Identify and set up any REWARDS for reaching your goal
Rewards are the staple of November. If you don’t celebrate every milestone you’ll start to dip considerably in week two and possibly may never recover. So, think ahead and plan some rewards.
These might be your favourite TV show or a flavoured latte each time you reach your daily word count, or a drink with friends once you reach 10,000 words. Make sure that they’re rewards that you will work for and don’t cheat and do them anyway – the whole point is that you need to reach that milestone.
If you try these tips, let me know how they work for you in comments. Alternatively, leave your own NaNoWriMo planning tips in the comments section.
Final Note: Apologies to my regular readers who’ve been wondering where I’ve been all week! I’ve been ill and in order to recover have had to cut back on the blogging. For the next couple of months there may only be two posts a week – one about my own Writing Journey and another with a NaNoWriMo focus. I’ll try and keep you all updated on the progress editing NaNo #1!