Posted in Writing

How To Balance Life And NaNoWriMo

TimeIf you’re anything like me, you like to keep busy. If you like to keep busy, then chances are you have a heavy schedule. If you have a heavy schedule, then how in the world are you going to manage writing at least 1,667 words a day?

Writing comes with its own routine. It’s something that you have to make time for if you really want to do it. So the natural response to, “How do I make time for writing and NaNo during my busy life in November?” is that you need to find a special time set aside for writing.

Most people think of their characters–their books as a whole–like their children. Do children need your time? Yes. You can’t just place them in a corner of a room and assume they’ll entertain themselves for a few hours. You need to give them your time.

Writing is the same way.

Here are a few ways to make time for your writing and stay ahead of the game:

Early-Bird or Night-Owl.

Some people, like me, work better in the morning. Some work better at night or another time of day like the afternoon.

Since I work better in the morning but have to go to work in the morning, I wake up an extra hour early than I need to. I write, edit, blog, or read for that hour. If I come home from work and crash, I won’t feel bad because I already got an hour of writing in that day.

Would I like to sleep in an extra hour? Of course. But I would like to work on my novel more.

Take advantage of extra time.

Sit down and try to write 1,667 words in an hour. Maybe you hit your word count at the 45-minute mark. Should you stop? No.

If you have an extra 15 minutes to write, then write! You can add another couple hundred words in that time.

Stay true to your daily word goal.

So you surpassed 1,667 words and wrote 2,000 instead with that extra 15 minutes. Good for you. Now go write another 1,667 words.

Don’t you dare try to get away with writing just 333 words because you’re ahead. Keep up the momentum. Train your brain to hit the same word count each day.

More is sometimes more.

No matter how ahead you are, keep writing at least 1,667. We all know that there will be a day we accidentally skip because we had a mound of homework to do or Thanksgiving came along and we have to be social celebrate with our families.

Having that extra cushion of words will come in handy for those kinds of days. You won’t get behind on your word count.

Find a certain writing spot.

Do you have a desk in a quiet room? Do you like to sit in the living room with the TV on? Or maybe the kitchen table and listen to your dinner sizzling on the stove? Find that one spot to write and over time you’re brain will automatically think it’s writing time.

Demand support.

Do you live in a busy household? Parents, siblings, other extended family?

Tell them your writing time and that you can’t be disturbed. All you need to do is have an hour to yourself. That’s not asking for much.

Writing is something that you need to make the time for otherwise it will never get done. Between busy schedules whether you’re working full-time, have school, or any other commitments, writing should always find its way into the schedule somehow.

It may not take top priority, but it should have some priority. If you do that, you’ll hit 1,667 words a day during NaNo. Maybe even more.

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

15 thoughts on “How To Balance Life And NaNoWriMo

  1. Great advice! Not sure I will get that much done in an hour though, that’s impressive! I really like ‘take advantage of extra time’, to stay motivated to keep going even if you have met the daily target.

    1. Even if you don’t get a lot of words written in an hour, at least you can say you wrote for a good chunk of time.
      You gotta keep those creative juices flowing as much as possible. 🙂

  2. This is something I’ve been struggling with for ages. I’ve sort of found a groove in writing before bed, but it’s not nearly 1667 words, nor is it on the computer (which is how I do my NaNo). Still figuring it out, and thanks for the tips!

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