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If You’re Going to Do NaNoWriMo, Get a Good NaNoWriMo Writing Plan

If you’re going to do National Novel Writing Month – aka NaNoWriMo – you probably want to have a writing plan in place to keep you on track.

An easy way to do that is quite simply to see how many words you have to write, which is 50,000.

Then you look at how many days you have to write those 50,000 words, which is 30.

Then you divide those 50,000 words by the 30 days to see how many words you have to write per day, which is 1,666.666666666667.

Of course, that’s a lot of sixes. Not quite an unholy amount, but still quite burdensome. So let’s just round it up to 1,667. If we want to evenly distribute the herculean task of writing 50,000 words in the month of November, we have to write 1,667 words per day.

NaNoWriMo writing plan accomplished!

There’s just one little catch...

More than likely, we’re not going to be writing 1,667 words per day. We won't be able to. Not when we have Thanksgiving to think about if we’re Americans. And even if we’re not Americans, there’s still plenty to distract us from that daily word count:

  • Any important family or friend birthdays (added up, I’ve got three of those)

  • The potential to get sick

  • The potential to lose time watching Netflix

  • The potential for writer’s block

  • The potential for work getting crazy

  • The potential for family life getting crazy

  • The potential for personal life getting crazy.

I’m sure there are potential derailments I’m missing, but that’s the short list nonetheless. The thing is that maybe your NaNoWriMo goes smoothly from start to finish. But it probably won’t.

As such, there’s another way of going about it.

Map out your month.

For me, the ninth of November is both my dad and best friend’s birthday, and the 10th is my adored first niece’s birthday. (My adored second niece was much more considerate and came in April.)

Then there’s that delightful stuffing-filled, NaNoWriMo-killer: Thanksgiving. It comes complete with family, friends, prepping food, eating food and cleaning up food. So getting in 1,667 words that day is a bit difficult.

In addition, my birthday present to my parents this year is to take them to a conference on the 17th. And I committed to a book-selling event on the third like a silly little capitalist – as if making money is more important than National Novel Writing Month.

Who needs funding to eat when there’s NaNoWriMo to get done!

Altogether, every single one of my Saturdays is booked. And I spend a good chunk of my Sundays with family, which is time I’m not going to give up.

But most of my Friday nights? I can shut out the world and just write for hours on end. For that matter, I can hermitize myself most Monday nights, Tuesday nights and Wednesday nights too.

Which means that despite my crazy schedule… I might actually be able to navigate my way through National Novel Writing Month 2018. All thanks to having a good NaNoWriMo writing plan.


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