NaNoWriMo has started (I’m sure I’ve not mentioned that at all in my last few posts), and that means it’s time for a new schedule! Why? Because I’m working on a few different things during November this year.
- 1st – Lucky Number Seven (fantasy/detective/steampunk). Goal: 100,000 words, a full manuscript that I’ll trunk and then look at in Februaryish.
- 2nd – Blogging. Goal: 30,000 words, 1 post for each of the 30 days. I have my own blogging goals as well, and if NaNo can help me catch up on them, then awesome!
- 3rd – Submissions. Goal: 25,000 words. There are at least three-four submissions that I’d like to finish and, you know, submit before the year’s out.
- 4th – Expose. Goal: 50,000 words, a novella that’s beyond due and that I’d like to get a leg up on.
Trying to write… oh goody, time for me to count those numbers… I want to write 205,000 words in one month. (Shhh, don’t tell my family I doubled my word count again.) Okay, that’s about 6,833 words per day. Possible. And now I’m imagining many people reading this are making faces at the screen and/or wondering about my sanity under my breath.
- 1st – If I fail at this, I’m still in a better position than when I started. I have words to edit. I have ideas to sketch out. If I fail, I still win.
- 2nd – If I win my goal this year, I’ll know that I’m getting better at being focused and spending my time wisely.
With those ideas in mind, I’m going to take a weekly look at my NaNo schedule
- Week 0 – 11/1 -> 11/2: focus on plotting, write up blog posts.
- Week 1 – 11/3 -> 11/9: write submissions with earlier due times, finish 30 blog posts
- Week 2 – 11/10 -> 11/16: edit submissions during lunch, start writing chapters from novel
- Week 3 – 11/17 -> 11/23: keep on writing chapters; if lost, think of future grammar topics to cover
- Week 4 – 11/24 -> 11/30: finish chapters for novel, write the novella.
Weekdays (Mon, Wed., & Thurs.) are going to be a bit tighter as well. I really need to go to bed at a decent time to wake up in the morning, and I think I need to change the sound to my alarm again (I’m starting to sleep through them).
- Morning – 1:30hrs of whatever needs to happen: social media support, game development/writing with 4thewords, etc.
- Lunch – 1hr of either plotting on paper, writing on 4TW through my phone, or listening via text to voice and editing submissions.
- Evening – 4hrs of writing. Get home as soon as possible, start up laundry, start writing, stretch in the middle when laundry needs to be hung, write more, dinner, write, and bed.
Weekends (plus Tues. & Fri.) will be helpful in making sure that I can nab extra words and hopefully fully charge ahead so that things get done.
Okay, so why am I writing these things on here? Am I trying to make turtle writers feel bad? (Nope!) Is Coffee humble-bragging? (No again.)
Something I see in the writing community is that some ideas and practices are just… glossed over. Not spoken of. One of them is that a first draft must be written, and re-written, many times over before a writer wants to send it to a publisher. Writer In Motion is a great place to see this happening in action. We all start with the same prompt, and then we help each other with the editing, and then it’s looked over by a professional editor. When I was a just getting into writing, I used to think that writers just… magically made that first draft perfect. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thought or who might still think that way today.
Another idea is that writers “magically” find time, and “real writers” adhere to a schedule at all times. Which isn’t true. All of us our human, all of us have a good days, bad days, and WTF days (some more than others). The point of me writing out my schedule here, on my blog, is three-fold.
- First, I hope to show writers that time needs to be scheduled – I have problems with the expression “find time” to be honest. In my experience, it’s not “found,” it’s taken and hoarded.
- Second, maybe something here is a new trick to try for someone else. (Ooh, plotting at lunch! That might work for me better than trying to write and feeling as if I have no time to do it). I’d be happy if this: yay-it helped! or even nope-trying something new.
- Third, it’ll be something I can continue to check and make sure I’m sticking to my schedule. It’s taken me years of writing to understand more about my personal writing habits and goals, and how to make sure I do what needs to be done – time is just another aspect of that crystal. (Plotting, rejections, submissions – everything I’ve learned and will continue to learn about will most likely be touched upon at some point).
Also, I’m not in this alone. If I was working 9-5 by myself or supporting tiny humans I’m 100% sure my schedule would be quite different. I have a support system in my friends, my writing community, and my family. If my husband wasn’t supporting me, I’m not sure I’d have as much confidence in being able to to this crazy plan. He helps by making sure I eat and (sometimes) tries to help me go to bed at a decent hour. And being completely honest, he sometimes helps by not being home since he’s a cute distraction. It’s also because of him that I’m working part-time now from a job that zaps my mental stamina, and can use that extra energy for my 4TW work and my personal writing.
TLDR: I have seen writing info & wish to share with other writers
What about you? How do you plan to write for the week, how do you manage to steal time and sneak it away?