Planning for NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo is HERE! 2016 has been a house on fire and as we all limp to the finish line, my hope is this can be where the sun breaks through the clouds and…gives us all ice cream sundaes or something, I ran out of metaphors to mix. Investing at the very least two hours a day into writing is tough while balancing day-to-day adulting stuffs. So it’s ideal to go in with a plan. While I usually plot the story and pants the execution, my wife Jenn and I have come up with a rough plan on how to tackle this beast.


Turning Off the TV

Binge watching is an amazing luxury this day in age. It used to be we had to wait each week for a new episode, or if we wanted to binge we’d need to buy expensive DVD sets. Now with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, almost all movies and TV series are right at our finger tips for pennies a day (to say nothing of the content on YouTube).
To be more proactive, we are going to cut out the distractions and utilize our time more effectively. Once we get home from work the TV/YouTube/Everything stays off and we stay productive. Social media will be at a minimum as well, though total media blackout for a month would be ridiculous and unnecessary.

2k a Day

I’ve heard it said a writer needs to write every day. Well, taken literally would mean there is never a break from writing. And that’s unrealistic and torturous. We all need breaks and vacations. So to that end, we will be taking a weekend day (depending on which is more convenient at the time) to rest and not worry about writing. That’ll take us from 30 writing days to 26. Breaking it down, the daily word count comes up to just under two-thousand words so that’ll be our goals. We try to work hard for our playtime.


There are a lot of different types of production methods and this time around, my wife and I are going to be using an app to keep us accountable. Pomodoro is the technique of working for 25 minutes, taking a five-minute break, then jumping right back in. Rinse and repeat. This doesn’t work for everyone for all types of work, but for NaNoWriMo, keeping on task until the words are down in paramount. Plus adjustments can be made to just about anything down to an even a 1:1 ratio (half-hour work, half-hour rest) if time isn’t a real constraint.

More Reading

Since we’ll not be spending time vegging out on the couch without our eyes plastered to the TV, in the little breaks in the day between writing sessions we will take the opportunity to read. Not only will this allow us to catch up with our TBR lists, it’ll keep our minds in the medium of the written word and theoretically allow us to be more pithy and productive.

With these four adjustments to our daily routine, we hope to wrench ourselves into a habit of productivity to kick NaNoWriMo in the tush. A big adjustment to be sure, it might not work and we’ll have to adjust it, or we might need to drop out of NaNoWriMo altogether. No shame in that. We writers do our best work when we are at our personal best. Push the limits without breaking ourselves.

So that’s the plan! We’ll see how it goes and perhaps some of these habits carry over into next year.

Good luck to everyone participating in National Novel Writing Month! My NaNoWriMo profile is jpdailing if you want to add me as a buddy.


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