NaNoWriMo Prep Week 4: Make a Plan

On the surface, NaNoWriMo might look deceptively easy: write 1667 words a day? No problem!

Or maybe it looks impossible: write 50,000 words in 30 days? No way!

Either way, the best chance for winning NaNoWriMo is to make a plan you can stick with.  Maybe you can whip out 1667 words in an hour. Great. But do you have that one hour planned out each and every day? What if it takes you more than an hour one day?

This week, pull out your calendar for November and look at what you have already planned.  If you don’t keep a central calendar, do a brain dump of everything going on in November. Just make a list if you have to.

What are your priorities? What’s more important than your NaNo writing? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to squeeze in more writing time?

Block out the times on your calendar you absolutely cannot write. Analyze what’s left and see when you can write.  Schedule it in.

What are your pitfalls when it comes to writing? Your distractions? If you want to write for an hour after work but you know that once you get home it’s the after-work rush of dinner-homework-soccer practice-bathtime-bedtime before you crash in front of the TV, plan ahead.  Plan to stay at the office an additional hour to write. Or stop at a coffee shop to write before going home. Just make sure you have your spouse’s blessing! 😉

Be realistic. Don’t plan to get up at 4 A.M. to write before the family wakes up in you’re a night owl.

Are there any days you just can’t fit any writing into? How will you compensate for that over the rest of the month?

Figure out what works for you and then schedule it.  Don’t just wing it. Prepare.

After you figure out when  you can write, start thinking about word count goals.  It’s all well and good to find a block of 3 hours you can write, but what if you only write 500 words in those 3 hours?

For each block of time you’ve scheduled, figure out how many words you need to have written at the end of that block.  Is it realistic or are you trying to cram 50,000 words of writing into 10 hours?  Do you have buffer room built in?  Do you need to squeeze a few more hours in?

Take the time this week to make a plan for November.  NaNo starts one week from today!

Review all our NaNoWriMo 2011 posts here.

For the comments: How’s your plan coming along? Are you able to clear out enough hours? What are you giving up to find more writing time?

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