Managing your time for NaNoWriMo

IMG_0801NaNoWriMo is more than a race to the minimum 50,000 words; it is also a practice in time management and planning.

Time. Time. Time. How can anyone add another time intensive project on top of all the ones we  already have? By Analyzing what time you have and seeing where you can squeeze in writing time. Just remember, You must still be able to eat and sleep.

Where is Your Time?

Do you have a few large blocks of empty time on weekends? Or, do you have smaller blocks available daily? Can you write during your lunch break or wake up earlier? Can you shuffle appointment arounds to give you larger or more consistent writing blocks?

Of course, after you look at your day, be realistic with your time. If you over extent yourself you are less likely to finish. Neglecting commitments at work or your family and friends will backfire long after November. Let people know that you are committed to writing your novel and that they might not see you much in november; however, tying yourself to your desk for a month is not desirable and you might need friendly smiling faces if you are at a tough point.

Also remember, November is knee-deep in the holiday season. Take some time to relax.  Finishing your novel in November is a great goal, but your health and wellbeing are more important.

Daily Versus Weekly Word Goals

Do you want to use a daily word count or a weekly one? If you can steal time everyday, maybe in the morning or before bed, make plans for daily writing time and try to stick with them. The time required will vary depending on your speed on writing but overall it is a good exercise in forming a writing habit.

Some people will find their writing time available in large blocks but not daily.  Not a problem.  If your work/school week is intensive and you only have weekends then you will just have a much larger word count goal per writing session. However, it is still doable. Organize your time, know your goal, and stick with it.

Word counts for 50,000 words at the end of November.

  • Daily Word Count: 1667
  • Weekly Word Count: 11669

I typically do a combination of the two. I set a small daily word count for myself and use weekends to catch up, or if I am lucky to get ahead.

To help you stay motivated and on top of your word count use the NaNoWriMo website: – If you log every writing session it will help you keep on track of where you are. They also have interesting articles to keep you motivated, and motivation can make or break the marathon that is NaNoWriMo. 

Most Important: Don’t forget to have fun!

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