My NaNoWriMo 2017 (Winning) Schedule

So, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It happens every November, and the challenge is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Well, we all know my novels don’t fit in 50,000 words, so I just aim to write part of a novel in 30 days.

Mathematically, that breaks down to 1,667 words-per-day. I normally try to stay on pace with this, at least, but being the overachiever that I am, I like to stay ahead of that.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may have noticed that I took some time off from writing. Now, I’ve been writing bits and pieces of things behind the scenes, but I haven’t been consistently working on anything specific, and I certainly haven’t been talking about anything publicly. (This blog is living proof–well, except for the novella that was released. And yes, I *will* get around to making a paperback for that someday.) The point is, I had gotten out of the habit of writing, and I was fearful committing myself to NaNoWriMo this year.

But I knew I had to. For the sake of the stories, the characters, and my own sanity, I knew I had to.

So, I devised my own schedule. November (on the calendar) worked out perfectly this year, considering weekends and my company’s (and many others) corporate holidays.

If I wrote 1,000 words every word day, and 3,000 words every day I didn’t have to work, I would end up writing 50,000 words. That would mean that it would look like I was behind the standard schedule for most of the time, and that would be something my overachiever brain would just have to accept… because I’d catch up on weekends, and maybe even get ahead.

Well, it worked! I did get ahead a few times, took one day off during the month, and finished on the 28th!

For those of us who work and can’t take time off, I think this is a very workable schedule to go with. Or, if you’re struggling getting back into writing, the 1,000 word-a-day schedule is quite realistic. Then you just have to push yourself on the weekends. Sometimes, I’d break up my Saturday and Sunday sessions by cooking or taking a nap. It really made a difference for me.

I think I like the pace, and now that I’m well into the story, I think I’m going to keep it up… maybe go for a 50,000-word December.

Happy writing!

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