NaNoWriMo Prep #18 – Making the Time

Nine O'ClockManaging your time during NaNo is going to be one of the, if not THE, biggest factor in getting 50,000 words completed by November 30th.

Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to start thinking now about how you’re going to manage your time. You don’t want to wait until November 1st to start deciding how you’re going to fit NaNoWriMo in with the rest of your life.

Here are some tips I’ve found useful when I’ve done NaNo. I’ve also included links to articles that address not only time management overall but managing your time if you’re a stay-at-home parent, going to school, or juggling school and work. By practicing these time management tips you’ll free up more time for your NaNo writing.

First, my tips.

  • Time yourself to see how long it takes to write 1,666 words in one sitting, which is the minimum required every day to reach 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th. I’m not saying you HAVE to write 1,666 words a day (there’s something ominous about that 666, don’t you think?). Your intent is to get an idea as to what YOU can do on average.
  • Get a calendar for November, whether it’s paper, online or on your smartphone, table or computer. Mark off the days you know are going to be problematic, i.e. exams, appointments, special occasions like weddings or birthdays, THANKSGIVING. You need to do this so you’ll know beforehand that you probably won’t get much writing done on those days, if any, which means you’ll have to stock up on words at some point. Try to find dates on the calendar where you know you can put in some extra time writing. (I know, I can here you already. Extra time? Really?)
  • Find out what’s your best time for writing. Are you a morning person? Late night? Mid-afternoon? Do you write best by yourself or with other people?
  • If you are at a write-in with the intention to write don’t be afraid to let some of your more chatty companions know that. Kindly but firmly tell them that when you’ve finished your quota of words you’ll talk with them.
  • Treat yourself. Often. Give yourself an incentive to get those words done. Promise yourself something really special whenever you reach a goal. If you’re writing in a coffee shop or café, for example, tell yourself that when you’ve accomplished your goal you’ll order that yummy pumpkin spice latte.
  • When you reach 50,000 words CELEBRATE! Buy yourself something nice or, if you can’t do that, just dance!

Time Management Articles 

Best Time Management Tips for Writers 

How to Fit NaNo into Your Busy Schedule

Quick Tips for Better Time Management