I can hardly believe it. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! I should have known better. Just playing around with baby stories, these sort of wisps of ideas, has gotten me in trouble more than once. Now we’re 2 weeks away, and I’ve barely got my schedule figured out, let alone what I’m going to be working on for an entire month!
If you’re like me, you’re a professional procrastinator. This means, when the clock finally strikes Writing Time, you need to get the biggest bang for your buck.
I have put together 5 tips to help you get the most out of your writing time, and finally hit that 50k word goal!
1. Time Management
I think I already covered how I have partially failed at this already. So, don’t me like Cassie! Plan your writing time out in advance. Decide which meet ups you want to go to in your region, and if you plan to skip any writing days (I mean, there IS Thanksgiving mixed in there for us Americans), then decide where and how you are going to make up those words. Then STICK TO IT! And if something happens, because life inevitably does, take a look at your schedule and figure out where you insert that missed time.
We’re writers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re good with words. Especially when it comes to any kind of confrontation. You know, bearing our souls in front of people. But if you want to get the most out of your writing time, you have to let those around you know how important this is. Otherwise, your family is going to incessantly bother you and wonder why you’ve holed yourself up in your room listening to The Dark Knight soundtrack, and your friends will try to invite you to every FriendsGiving party they’ve found on Facebook and beyond.
It’s important that the people around you know how important this time is for you, and they may even be willing to help you reach your goals!
3. Set the Mood
While I don’t NEED these things to write, they are still really nice to have around. They help set the mood for me, get me in the right frame of mind to get my Writer Mode up and in gear. I enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea during my writing sessions, along with some movie score soundtracks playing quietly in the background. And of course, there needs to be at least one feline within arm’s reach.
Whatever you need to get into that head space to write, do it. You can worry about becoming dependent on it at a later time. For now, it’s about getting those words out! So do what you have to do.
4. Clear Yourself of All Distractions
Did you know that the average person looks at their phone more than 1500 times a day! I was shocked, until I started paying attention to it myself, and now I can totally believe it. We’re bombarded with billboard signs while driving, sign spinners outside our local pizza joint, Facebook ads, you name it, the list goes on. Everything and everyone is vying for just a sliver of your attention, but you don’t have time for that right now. You are a determined and organized NaNo-er, and you will not let yourself become distracted during your precious writing time!
First thing’s first, turn off your internet connection. Any research you need to do can be done later. Make a note of it, and move on.
Next, turn off all notifications, both on your computer, your phone, tablet, everything. This is especially important if you want to use your phone for playing music.
Last, put your phone on the other side of the room. You will not be tempted to reach for it every 40 seconds if it’s not easily accessible.
Now you can allow your brain to focus on the task at hand without getting bogged down by that Rabbit Hole called YouTube.
5. Have Rewards
Whether it’s a jelly doughnut after each successful writing session, or a nice dinner every Saturday, its important to reward yourself. You’re putting in a TON of hard work! Sure, you may be sitting around on your bum, but your brain is fighting dragons and building worlds. That takes a tremendous amount of energy and focus. You should definitely remind yourself of the rock star you are!
Those are my tips and tricks for a successful NaNoWriMo! I hope you found them helpful and are newly inspired to tackle that story you’ve got inside you!
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