In my last post, I talked about how creating baby steps (aka little goals) and incentives for accomplishments will help me and you win National Novel Writing Month. At the end, I said “baby steps, that’s all it is,” and the moment I published that post I could already hear fellow readers saying EASIER SAID THAN DONE! in my mind. So I just HAD to continue that concept of “baby steps” in this post…
Unfortunately, November happens to be one of the busiest months of the year. Thanksgiving, Election Day, midterms for some schools, homecoming for other schools, et cetera. And writing 1,667 words a day isn’t easy with a busy schedule, even one that is only moderately heavy with work and chores and events. But it IS possible and doable.
So I’ve created a hypothetical schedule that is hypothetically supposed to be planned out as a typical day in November for a hypothetical mother who is doing NaNoWriMo for the first time, even with Thanksgiving looming over her head and three kiddies to tend.
6:30 am — Go out for morning run with Fluffy (the hypothetical dog), take him out to relieve himself, listen to a soundtrack you created for your novel to get some inspiration
7:00 am — Write 300 words while your creative juices are still flowing, then get writer’s block (urgh! How to get the inevitable romance between your bachelor of a Main Character and your MC’s son’s teacher??)
7:30 am — Wake up the rest of the house, get the kids ready for school, make breakfast for all, pack lunches
8:15 am — Drop kids off, get dropped off at work, kiss Hubby goodbye
8:30 am — Work
11:45 am — Turn down lunch offer from co-workers and explain your NaNoWriMo commitment, get funny looks but have one of your friend-worker (a co-worker who is also a friend) agree to write her novel with you (she happens to be one of the few whom you persuaded to do NaNo!) during lunch
12:00 pm — Have an intense write-in with your friend-worker while eating lunch, get 500 words in, exchange light conversation about your novel plots
1:00 pm — Get back to work
3:31 pm — A light bulb suddenly flicks over your head as you finally realize what to do with your MC (next scene: have him get his arm broken while picking up his son from school, thus initiating the meeting between Ms. Priddy and him…ta-da!); quickly write down a short scene and certain valuable lines (“The twinkle she had in her eyes when she looked at me for the first time was mesmerizing”) and then quickly get back to your current work project as your boss walks by; hurray, you got in 200 words at work!
6:45 pm — Return home, cook dinner with Nanny Dearest and Hubby, change one particularly stinky diaper
7:30 pm — Dinnertime! A lovely hour of feeding Baby, reminding your other two little’uns to use their napkins and chew with their mouths closed, and fighting with your MC in your mind over what you should do with him in the next couple of chapters (apparently he’d rather meet her in a more romantic setting such as a beach or something else unrealistic)
8:15 pm — Wash dishes with Hubby while Nanny Dearest bathes the little’uns, discuss your MC with Hubby, who helps you decide to go with your own instincts and set the scene between Ms. Priddy and your MC at school
8:30 pm — Jot down a quick 300 words after this thoughtful dishwashing-bonding time
8:45 pm — Begin watching Beauty & the Beast with your family
9:00 pm — take a movie break and make your award-winning strawberry smoothies for the children (because they begged and made those adorable puppy faces that you can never resist)
9:45 pm — Put the kids to bed
9:50 pm — Write a good, solid 400 words; review today’s NaNo work…YES YOU ACCOMPLISHED YOUR BABY STEP OF THE DAY!
10:30 pm — Have some down time with Hubby and talk about Thanksgiving plans over a romantic cheese and wine snack (you eventually decide that he will cook the smaller dishes if you take care of the turkey and stuffing)
Whew! A long but productive day! As you can see, the hypothetical woman above was able to squeeze in even MORE than the absolutely-must-write-1677-words in her day. It’s all about having the motivation and staying inspired. As demonstrated above at 11:45am, you may have to turn down some social gatherings/offers/dates during the month of November, depending on how ahead you are in your novel and how much time you’re willing to give (okay, BALANCE) into NaNoWriMo.
It’s always best to forewarn family and friends that you’re committing November to a 50k novel-writing contest, but they still may pressure you into ditching your characters for a girls’ (or guys’) night out. However, this is the golden time when you ought to keep the bigger goal in mind and *sniff* say no to nights of fun.
You may feel rather depressed at times when you do so, which is pretty normal for the average NaNoer, but it will definitely pay off once you’re grinning with your newly self-published book and your friends are screaming for your autograph in the end. ;)