By now, you should all know that NaNoWriMo is in full swing and people are finding that what seemed like a great idea on October 31 is actually a huge challenge. Even some of my writing buddies have failed to keep pace, falling well behind the 1667 word daily average that you need to “win” NaNoWriMo.
How does this happen? How can seasoned writers fail to clock less than 2000 words in a day?
The answer, my lovelies, is one of the many mysteries of NaNoWriMo, and writing itself. Shall I tell you? Lean in close and let me whisper it in your ear.
NaNoWriMo is as much about TIME MANAGEMENT as it is about writing.
Take a moment and let that realist sink in.
If you want to be a writer, whether a professional writer or a hobby novelist, you are going to have to first get control over your time. The truth is that 2000 words a day is not an impossible number. It is quite manageable, especially if you took the time to do some plotting, planning, and/or outlining before you sat down to write. It’s completely possible to write 2000 words a day in under 2 hours (under an hour if you’re a fast typist). But you are going to have to carve that hour out of your day some kind of way.
For some, whose lifestyle doesn’t involve a lot of time at home, writing on the go or during lunch breaks is a must. They thrive on mobile writing apps (which I WILL talk about in a later blog post) and utilize tablets and chrome books to make writing on the go easier. For others, it simply means gaining the discipline to turn off the TV and close the YouTube page long enough to create something mildly intelligible. For them, annoying calendar notifications and programs that block access to their favorite sites during certain hours of the day are a life saver.
Whatever your challenges may be, I am sure that with a little self-reflection you CAN find the time to write.
It could be that those writing buddies of mine who have yet to meet the mark, have no intention of meeting the mark this year. Perhaps the specs of NaNoWriMo don’t jive well with their writing process and though they can’t fully participate they simply enjoy the atmosphere; like a Muslim at the mall during the Christmas season. Perhaps they simply haven’t been diligent about updating their word counts but have well surpassed the minimum daily word count. Or perhaps they haven’t finished outlining yet and need a few extra days to put the finishing touches on their work.
For those who are participating for the first time this year my first and perhaps most important pro-tip to you is this:
MAKE TIME, NOT EXCUSES!
Writers write, and there is no getting around it. If you want to be a writer you have to write. Every day. And that takes time. So reclaim that time from whatever non-writing activity you’re doing and get to work!
Also, don’t forget to like, comment, and follow me. Be on the lookout for more Pro-Tips as I write my way through November.