NaNoWriMo Prep: Managing Your Time

Nanowrimo prep managing your time


If you’re reading this then you’re probably getting ready to write an entire novel in a month. It sounds insane, but you’re in fantastic company! The NaNoWriMo community and atmosphere is like no other.

The chances are that you’re going to be trying to do this whole, writing a novel thing, while working a fulltime job, keeping some form of social life, and generally being a person. That means that you’re going to have to pull this off in small bits of time that you can grab here and there.

That’s completely fine!

You can do this.

You just have to prepare.

First of all, warn your family and friends that you’re participating in NaNoWriMo. Tell them how important it is to you, and set out some guidelines and boundaries. Give yourself the required time and space, every day, to get those words in. Put up a little sign on your office door, or put in your headphones, or go visit a coffee shop, at the same time every day. Make it clear that that is your time to do NaNoWriMo.

Guard that little section of time like a rabid mamma bear. That is your precious time, for you to do this, it’s more valuable to you than a heap of gold to a dragon.

Once you’ve carved out that time, begin preparations proper. You’re going to be limited on time so you’ll need to be efficient. You can’t afford to screw around getting your favourite snack just so, or trying to remember the name of your MC’s brother. It has to be all laid out ready to go.

This means that you should know what you’re writing before you settle down to write it. Take the quiet moments where you’re doing other things, such as washing the dishes, or walking the dog, to get that all straight in your head. Make sure you have everything you need close at hand. This means if you use headphones, keep them in a quickly accessible place near your writing spot. Have those essential snacks right there too, if you’re running low, top yourself up before you run out.

Now that everything’s ready, you have everything in place, you can actually write.

You shouldn’t be using this time to research or ponder, that will have to come at some other point. This slot is purely for writing.

Personally, I recommend using writing sprints to really get those fingers flying and the words whizzing. There are writing sprints going on on Twitter pretty constantly. There are also places on the NaNoWriMo forums to find people to sprint with. If you’d rather sprint alone then the Pomodoro technique is fantastic. There are lots of free apps and websites to do the timer bit for you.

The point is to challenge yourself, to beat that clock, and get into a hyper-focused state where you write like the wind.

Finally, I’ll add that having an accountability partner is a pretty good idea. They’re someone that you speak to on a regular basis. You tell them your daily wordcount goal, and they poke, prod, shout, and whatever else you need to make sure you get it done. You report to each other, you push each other on. Again you can very likely find someone or some people on Twitter or the NaNoWriMo forums.

It might seem scary, but you can do this.


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