Many of my friends and acquaintances are currently in the midst of the sheer madness that is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal: to write a book (yes, sir, that’s right a whole book) in (gasp) 30 days!
If you’re with me now, congratulations! You’ve made it to your first NaNoWriMo weekend. Today’s tip is USE YOUR WEEKENDS.
Weekdays are stressful. You have work/school, running kids to their activities, helping with homework, maybe you take care of your parents or have friends that rely on your help. Meeting your word count goal every day can be added stress. That’s where your weekends come in handy. During the week, continue to write as much as you possibly can. On the weekends make it a priority to get caught up (or, better yet, ahead, with your word count).
- Consider setting your alarm for the same time you wake up during the week. Use that extra time to do nothing other than write.
- Spend the hours you typically work during the week (ie- 9am to 5pm) and dedicate that time to writing. You can factor in a “long lunch” and do something fun with family and friends before going back to “work”.
- If you have small children enlist your spouse or other family members to help out. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Allow yourself the freedom to say “No” to requests or invitations.
- Factor in smaller goal/reward cycles during long days of writing. For example: When I hit 2500 words, I’m going to take a 1/2 hour walk; I have to get 1,000 words before I can check my social media again; I’m getting 2,000 words before I fold a single pile of clothes; and–because we are fueled on caffeine and chocolate, are we not?–I can have another cup of tea/coffee/soda/mini candy bar in 1,000 words, but not until then.
NaNoWriMo is a big goal, but it’s absolutely something that you can achieve. And keep in mind that, yes, you are giving up free time and extra sleep, but it’s only for four weeks. Thirty days. At the end of that time you’ll have an amazing thing that you created (in only 30 days!!!).