Monday, November 06, 2006

How to Succeed at NaNo

This is how I have succeeded at NaNo two years in a role and have achieved my current word count.

  1. Figure out how many days you are actually going to be able to write. I have kids, family commitments, and a real life job. Thirty days is shriveled first to 22 because of weekends (it just doesn't work,) then 21 because I know that I will get nothing written on Thanksgiving Day. I knock off one more because I have gotten sick every November since 1996. So my daily count is 2,381 words. Yes, I divided the 50K by 21 anyway.
  2. Every time I sit down, I set a goal. I figure out how long I have to write.
    1. If it's fifteen minutes, I should be able to type between 300 and 400 words. Then I figure I'm going to do it twice, because I'm at work. Then I push myself to get 500, so I walk away with 1,000.
    2. If it's after everyone has gone to bed, I push for the 2,381. Even if I made the 1,000 goal during the fifteen minute sprints. The 1,000 words are icing at that point.
  3. Repeat. On every writing day and any time the kids go to be early or I find myself alone.

See, winning isn't so much about the 50K, it's about figuring out what you can do and when.

What can you do? When can you do it?

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