Clearing Time for NaNoWriMo

Hi, SEers! Mae here. Thanks for joining me for another look at preparing for NaNoWriMo in November. If you’re planning to undertake the challenge of writing a 50K novel in thirty days (or adding 50K to an existing WIP), you’re already knee-deep in prep.

Comic illustration of man hunched over paper, scribblingWhen it comes to NaNo, we spend a lot of time (usually September and October) outlining scenes and chapters, developing plot points and getting to know our characters. Which means we’re eager to crawl into our writing cave and go to work on November 1st.

But, as they say, the best laid plans . . .

Have you carved out a sufficient allotment of time for NaNo? Below, are some ideas to help ensure you’ve got a win-win situation come November:

  1. The 1st falls on a Sunday. Make the most of it. If you work a MondayIllustration of girl with pony tail hunched over manual typewriter through Friday day job, this is your chance to soak extra hours into writing and start off with a blitz!
  2. Family and friends are often curious about the commitment of NaNo. Educate them in advance. Explain the necessity of daily word goals and your need to vanish into your WIP (you might also want to mention late family dinners or fending for themselves!).
  3. Have unused vacation days stacked up? This might be the perfect time to earmark a few for NaNo.
  4. If you live in the U.S., the Thanksgiving holiday consumes a LOT of time—as rightly it should. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving hits in the home stretch of NaNo. Those last few days of the month when you’re sooo close to finishing, but also fighting to tough it out.
    I try to prepare for this week by finishing my WIP before Thanksgiving or padding my word count ahead of time. Then, when I end up with sub-par totals, they don’t impact me.
  5. Step back from (or reduce) your blogging schedule. A lot of writers go dark in November. At the very least, post your intention of participation in advance, so if you go off the radar and back down on blog visits and comments, others will understand why.
  6. Stock up on coffee, snacks (healthy and otherwise) and plan meals ahead of time. You’ve got a  month to prepare. The freezer is your friend. 😊 One good thing about Thanksgiving falling during NaNo in the U.S., is all those turkey leftovers.

Even if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, I hope you found some of these time-clearing tips helpful. If you have some of your own, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

41 thoughts on “Clearing Time for NaNoWriMo

  1. Pingback: NANO – Judi Lynn

  2. I commented early, but it disappeared. Thanks for sharing these great tips, Mae. For those who work a full-time day job NANO can be a challenge, but it is doable. I make sure I get at least 1667 words a day. On weekends, I push it and go for more. I plan to take a break from WordPress, but I’ve got a post written to explain my absence. Terrific post…you’ve got me excited!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am doing prep for NaNo. Not sure if I plan to participate yet, it depends on how much prep I finish. I know I did NaNo last year and it was a lot of work. Let’s just say my NaNo novel was not able to be used, but I do have the characters and the plot for a future novel. Great tips, Mae. Good luck this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the good luck wishes, Michele. If things work out and you’re able to participate, I hope you have an awesome NaNoWriMo as well. And I’m glad you were able to salvage characters and plot from last year. That’s still a plus!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t participate but certainly, cheer those on who do. Your tips are great and I think those involved should welcome them. One last thought. It is probably a good idea to let the family know you love them it’s just that during November you might not look like you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never been tempted to participate in NaNo, myself, but I love that so many writers take part and often end up with a great head start on their next book. I’m not at all surprised that you are going for it again this year, and I love your tips on preparing. I think some of this is good time management advice all around, and since I’m behind on everything in my life–including starting my next book–I’m taking notes!! Thanks for sharing your ideas with us, and here’s to ROCKING NaNo this year, Mae! Good luck, my friend!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the well wishes, Marcia. I’ve got some other things that are going to be demanding my attention in November, but since I’ll be working on a WIP rather than starting from scratch, I’m hoping that makes all of the difference in adding word count. I’m also going to home in on all of the NaNo excitement and energy and ride that wave for all it’s worth, LOL.
      Although you’re not doing NaNo, I wish you plenty of energy for your next book. Fingers crossed we both rock our projects 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. These are excellent time-clearing tips, Mae! I am still on the fence with NaNo. I’ve started a new novel. It could be a chance to gain some word count. I dunno. I’ll think about it. I already know of two pretty big time commitments in November, so the odds of reaching the 50K goal are slim. At any rate, these are great tips for any writer anytime!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jan! Even if you don’t hit 50K, any word count is a plus. I’m really worried about this year myself as I have a huge time commitment outside of writing, but I’m going to give it a whirl. If I don’t win, I hope to at least add some additional chapters to my WIP.
      I’m excited to hear you’ve started a new novel, too. Even if you don’t go with NaNo, I hope the tips work for you in gaining some writing time. I’ve got to start applying them myself, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know, right? October would make better sense. Of course, that’s a huge promo month for a lot of authors, so maybe that has something to do with it.
      I’m going to give it another go this year and see if I can finish this WIP that has been languishing far too long, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. These are all terrific tips, Mae. Working a full-time day job while participating in NaNo is a challenge, but its doable. I commit to 1667 words a day, but on the weekend, I pile it on so I have that good buffer before Thanksgiving. I won’t be around on WordPress much, but I plan to share an explanation post prior to November 1st. Great post…you’ve got me excited! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad this post is adding to your excitement, Jill! I’m excited, too. 🙂
      You’ve got a good plan with your word count. From experience, I know there will be days where I do zero word count, but I’m hoping to make it up on other days.I’ve got to get my explanation post together too. November 1st isn’t that far away. Wishing you much success with NaNo. You appear to nail it every time!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great tips, Mae. Not only for NaNo but for any writing binge. I’m not doing it this year but I am hunkering down to finish the last 25K words of a novel. Hoping to get that done before November, however. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fingers crossed for you, Joan. Binge writing is great anytime you undertake it. I’m hoping NaNo will force me to add 50K to my WIP and wrap it by the end of November. Here’s hoping we both meet our goals!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for the encouragement and suggestions, Mae. I doubt I’ll be able to participate this year, but I’m looking forward to doing so next year. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. All good suggestions Mae. I wish I was in a place to prepare more. II have a book I’m finishing up the final edit and getting to the editor, fingers crossed before this starts. Then like last year I will jump right in and hope for the best. I will have to back off some of my blogging though to keep up though you are right!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope everything falls in place and you can participate Denise. That’s awesome that you’re finishing up the final edit on another book. Congratulations on that, and I’ll be cheering you on for NaNo. I will likely go dark in November with blogging. I’ve also got a huge office move happening in November and December. Between that and NaNo, I’m going to have to step back from blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

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