If you need to know how to get ready for the busiest writing month of the year, this is a good place to start. You may not realise it, but you need to prepare yourself to make sure you have a productive NanoWriMo.
This year (after last years quick piece) I’m concentrating on productivity, and getting yourself in the right mental space for writing 50,000 words in one month.
Let everyone know you’re participating
You need to tell people that you’re writing 50,000 words in one month. By telling them you’ll achieve two things that are beneficial to your chances of hitting that target.
- People will leave you alone. This sounds horrible, I know, but if someone knows that you’re going to be focusing on such a difficult target for an entire month they are likely to think about that before they interrupt you with something. It will also buy you a few extra hours before they expect a response to an email or text. In short, telling everyone buys you time!
- You’re accountable. When you do get texts or calls, people will ask you about your writing as a matter of course. It will give you that little bit of a push to keep your writing to time. Peer pressure can be a powerful motivator, and by using this you’re going to use it to your advantage.
You never know, maybe one of your friends has completed the competition before and can give you some more ideas about how have a productive NanoWriMo. You could also join a Facebook group like Bang2Write. Talking to people there will really help you push forward and inspire you.
Plan a routine
I’ve written about this before, so just do it. Especially when you’re going to be up against it, routines are extremely useful and will help focus your mind. To have a productive NanoWriMo month, however, they are more important than ever. Use the calendar app on your phone and put in a recurring daily appointment. Set a reminder to buzz you in advance, so you can start to get things ready for the writing sprint to come.
Look for time vacuums
Time vacuums are the commitments that at the moment you don’t even notice as a problem. However, when you’re trying to hit a difficult writing target every day, they can becoming annoying very quickly. So have a look in the diary for the month of November. Are there any birthdays coming up? Or any family get togethers that you have to attend?
The best way to deal with these is not to ignore them, avoid them and hope that you are forgiven at a later date. Instead, identify them well ahead of the time and plan around them. On those days, change that calendar appointment you set up earlier. Tell people that you’re going this to get ready for a productive NanoWriMo month.
Create some pockets of writing time
This really helped me last year. At certain times, I made sure that I was in a different location or was able to just shut everything off and out for an extended period of time. My local coffee shop thought I was going mad, but knowing that every weekend I would have time to catch up with my writing (and get in front of my wordcount) made me feel a lot better on those days where time vacuums started to suck my writing time away.
Local writing groups often set up NanoWriMo meet ups where people can just get their head down and write in a friendly environment. So get yourself onto local Facebook groups and writer forums and have a look for some. If nothing else, you might get yourself some good contacts for the future.
If you follow the four tips above, planning your time for NanoWriMo should be a breeze. Now you’ve got to try and figure out what on earth you’re going to be writing!
The header image comes from Pexels.