29STORIES Check-In #6: NaNoWriMo Game Plan

29STORIES Check-In #6: NaNoWriMo Game Planfeatured

So NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow.

I am so not ready.

Traveling (three weekends straight, capped off by a six day trip last weekend that involved so. much. driving) really did a number on my attempts to prep and get ready. I’m not quite sure how the next 30 days are gonna look, but I’m sticking to my original goal of 2,000 words on a different “short” story (or long story or novella or novel or just word vomit) each day.

And I’m going to need to balance that with both my current client work, blogging, and other business stuff (mainly, reaching out to new potential clients). (P.S. need a writer? know someone who does?)

So how on earth am I going to make this happen?

29STORIES Check-In #6: NaNoWriMo Game Plan {the ponytail diaries}

To start, I’m going to add some writing time (maybe just 15-20 minutes to start) to my still-developing morning routine. This may be a little free-writing warm-up (on 750words), some quick outlining or planning the day’s fiction writing, or just diving in to said fiction writing.

I’ve found that when I free-write on 750words, it takes me 20 minutes, tops, to reach that mark (usually closer to 15 minutes). Which tells me that writing 2,000 words really should take no more than one hour each day, and it really shouldn’t be too hard to find that time each day. I track my work time with Harvest (referral/affiliate link, btw) and most days I’m actually working around five to six hours max. The rest of my time is either making and eating food, running errands, playing with Onyx, or procrastinating/dicking around online. So with a little focus, I think I’ll fairly easily be able to find some time — even if it’s ten minutes here, thirty minutes here — to bang out 2,000 words each day.

Of course, random free-writing and trying to write a coherent story are two very different things. Maybe I’ll be able to hit 2,000 words in under an hour, maybe I’ll find it’ll consistently take longer than that.

Honestly, I hope to find that I can write better/faster during a certain time of day and start planning my days around that structure more. This is something I’ve been trying to do for ages so I can be more efficient.

I don’t plan on visiting the NaNoWriMo forums much — they’re great, but they can very easily turn into a huge time-suck. I’d love to find some local writing groups or meet-ups in the area, maybe once a week. There was one meet-up group I found awhile ago that was great — but they switched their meetings from Saturday mornings to Friday nights, which don’t work as well for me, and I’ve yet to find another group with a similar format (I’m not interested, in this point, in joining a review/critique group) that meets nearby (I’m also not about to drive to North County just to sit in Starbucks for an hour to write). Writing with people, even if you don’t directly interact with them, really helps to keep my fingers moving over the keys sometimes.

I did join Helene and Taylor’s new Facebook group for novel-writing bloggers and will hopefully get/give some support and encouragement there.

What happens if/when I miss a day? I haven’t decided yet. (Obviously, I start this project having thought out all possible situations and contingencies, as usual.) Setting my daily goal at 2,000 words instead of NaNoWriMo’s magic number of 1,667 words means I can actually completely skip up to 5 days and still write 50,000 words in total during November.

But…for me, this year, I don’t think that’s the point. I think writing every damn day no matter what is the point. Maybe I won’t make it to 2,000 words every day, but my real goal here is to write some fiction every day. Even if it’s just 100 words, I think that’ll count.

Although I think I’ll give myself just five of those “free pass” days where “free pass” doesn’t mean not writing at all, it means not quite hitting the word count goal.

So…wish me luck?