I know we have a Reaching 50,000 words forum on the main forum page, but I was hoping we as a region could share out ideas. How are you making time for November?
I am working really hard to ensure November goes well for me. For the first year since I have been doing Nano I am actually trying to carve out a good, low stress month for writing. I have all of my students long writings and essays due last week and this week to make sure I am done with as much grading as possible for November. I have begun talking to my wife an kids about the hour or two everyday that daddy will be busy writing. i have also begun telling friends, family, co-workers, and students about Nano and my goals so I have some accountabilty to keep me motivated. I find that the more people that know about this, the more people I would let down if I didn't finish. It keeps me going.
What are the things you are doing, other than novel prep, to prepare for Noveber?
Any good tips or hurdles you think people should be aware of to help prepare for what is to come?
For first time Nanoers, what worries you about carving out enough writing time?
We're in this together, so share out so we can learn new ideas to tackle common problems.
So long as I have a job, I have a 40-50 minute commute to and from the city by way of Metra. On the ride home, I typically either work on my apps or do some writing. I'm thinking that time will be very beneficial for me this year. So long as I make use of it, I think I'll do pretty well with my writing goals this year.
I work about 45 minutes away from home with my husband. Hopefully I will be able to carpool with my husband a couple times a week because I got a ton of writing done that way last year.
I work during lunch, and then after my daughter goes to bed.
Last year I did word wars on line with a couple of girlfriends across the country and that was a huge help in getting my word count up.
As motivation I tell just about everyone I know that I am doing NaNo and post my word count on facebook a couple of times a week. It may annoy some people but I just don't care. ;) And another HUGE motivating trick for me is to not eat my daily sweets until I hit my word goal for the day.
My plan (and we'll see how I do) is to get a lot of cleaning/organizing done now, so that I don't have much to do to get ready for my family's visit around Thanksgiving, and only have to do basic maintenance chores during Nov.
I'm also trying to get used to waking up earlier, so that I'll have time to get a start on my word-count first thing every day before work. Darker mornings aren't helping me out here, but I'm giving it a good shot.
A little bit of wishful thinking maybe, but isn't November all about making "wishful thinking" into reality?
Cleaning the house, stocking up on easy to cook meals, avoiding any new tv shows (I don't watch anything new from the season until after December so I'm not tempted to watch during NaNo), saying my final fair-wells to my friends and family. Just my usual October prep.
I typically make sure that I have a back-up for writing in case my main computer (which is starting to get flaky) crashes. So I have Scrivener installed on another machine and my outline loaded there. I also make sure to back up in the cloud at least daily--often several times I day, and think through how I'm going to do that so that it's just a simple click. Scrivener is great in that it will put the date into the title of the backup--it's not enough to have backups, I want to know where the one from a week ago is, in case I take a bad turn and want to check something.
I say no to almost every social occasion in November that doesn't involve writing. (Except for Thanksgiving with my family.)
I cook ground chicken--since that with spaghetti sauce makes a great dinner with plenty of leftovers. I usually make and freeze a few things for Thanksgiving during October--like cranberry muffins.
To handle getting up when it's dark out, or writing late at night--try setting white lights or a lamp on an automatic timer. It's much easier to go into a cozy room and write than a totally dark one, I find.
Not only do I have Thanksgiving to deal with along with the rest of you, but I also have a wedding anniversary! This year will bethe sixth anniversary of being married to my dear Cassidy (Citrus Siren). :)And this year I'm playing Pathfinder (like Dungeons and Dragons) once a week with friends, too, so I have less time during the week to write!
But that's no matter. No, really.
Last year I managed to finish NaNo having only written 15 days of the month. I have an issue where I simply can't write while I'm at home. There's far too many distractions and "my attention span" is listed on Wikipedia's "mythological creatures" article. So during write-ins, I'll crank out something to the tune of 4,000-5,000 words. Caribou Coffee becomes my second home, and the dark, caffinated bean water in my mug replaces most of my blood.
I think everyone I know understands that my November doesn't exist, socially, beyond a NaNoWriMo level. Before November hits, I just need to build up a stock of greeting cards and shadowboxes for the Christmas rush--I run an Etsy store, and last year I did not nearly have enough backstock and had to spend my evenings after work working on cards until bedtime.
I generally don't have much of a social life during the rest of the year, so November has never been a problem for me in that respect. But work does keep me away from writing eight hours a day. Last year I wrote during my breaks and that helped me get halfway to my daily goal, then I could write the rest during the evenings. And, of course, the write-ins are always an enormous help to me. Looking forward to those again this year! :)
I've found that using a cloud-type program helps the most. I've used both Gdocs or Skydrive in the past, and I plan to use Gdocs again this year. This way I can write pretty much anywhere my phone can get a signal... Really, though, the majority of my writing happens in the two or three hours before I go to bed, thanks to my pretty swift typing speed. I spend most of the day thinking about what I want to happen next, how I want the scenes to unfold, and whatnot, and then just punch it out on the keyboard when I'm done with work, dinner, and pet care. Then there's the weekends, where I try to sit down for multiple 2-ish-hour chunks of writing to get ahead of the curve.
I'm admittedly less freaked this time around about time management given it's my third Nano and I wrote a 58k draft in about 7 weeks this summer. I'm a little better at disciplining myself to write a little each day, but I do tend to use weekends to catch up on extra word count. I admit, I am planning my Thanksgiving around writing time (sorry family!). Formy anniversary weekend, my husband and I are staying at an inn with a living area and kitchenette where we both plan to work on various projects. Sounds romantic to me!
Phoenixica24 wrote:I just sit and write. Instead of watching movies or anime, I'll write before bed. This year I don't have a laptop though, so....I'm not sure what I'm going to do... :'(
Suggestions for computer-less people?
Some libraries let people check out laptops when they are in the library (I know the Aurora Public Library did that when they hosted write-ins a few years ago; unfortunately, we didn't have any volunteers to host write-ins there this year). I have a spare laptop (old but runs Linux and openoffice, even though its wi-fi may not work) that I could bring with me to the write-ins I'm hosting at the 95th Street Library and Nichols Library in Naperville... I also have a still-functioning NEC Mobilepro 900c with a 92% full size keyboard. No internet access but files can be transferred before/afterwards via compactflash card and a card reader.
But that's just a small help for laptop-less folks coming to some write-ins. Otherwise, I know there are many wrimos each year who write their novels long-hand. It's hard; and you have to watch out for hand cramps, but it's another possibility.
I also have an extra laptop (wi-fi capable!) that I can bring to write-ins--I usually use my netbook for less distractions and an actual battery life, so the extra will be the one with the full-size keyboard. If anyone headed to the Downer's Grove events needs to use it, send me a nano-mail and I will be sure to bring it!
Warrenville Library doesn't let people check out laptops, but since the write-ins are Official Library Events, I think I can get away with pulling one out of the cabinet to loan to someone for the duration.
I write long-hand. Of course, I usually type up everything at the end of the day for easy word-counting, but the real writing is all long-hand. I'd advise you to get a notebook--something thatfeelsright for your novel, preferably large enough for you to write 50,000 words in but small enough for easy carrying--and a couple of really comfortable pens. Yes, multiple pens, because there's a special kind of panic when you run out of ink in the middle of a word war. (Believe me. Been there.) Plus pens have a way of getting lost or "borrowed," unless you get paranoid about them. For word-counting, don't get hung up about counting every individual word--figure out how many words, on average, you write on a single line or page of your designated notebook, then add up how many lines/pages you fill.It's not as exact, but it's close enough and it won't give you nearly as many headaches. And yes, beware of writer's cramps, which are NOT restricted to your hand! Make sure you stop every so often and stretch your fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, AND neck.
And then quietly gloat over the fact that you can write absolutely anywhere without having to worry about finding an outlet or charging a battery, and you don't have to wait for anything to load or start up before you can start writing. Oh, the freedom! Oh, the liberation! Oh, the confusion of wondering why everyone else at the write-in is taking so long to get started...
I've set a solid goal to write 1667 words per day. I figure, if I know what I'm going to write in advance, I can knock that out in about an hour in the evening. My husband just started working first shift again, so he can help out and cook dinner so I have more time to write. I hope to get ahead as much as possible on the weekends so I can lessen my daily quota on weekday.
I get motion sick, so writing on my commute is probably not going to happen. That time will probably be spent thinking of what I'd like to write when I get home.
I've been telling everybody about my plans, so I have a level of accountability if I do not finish.
TV distracts me very easily, especially during November sweeps (where tv stations show all of their best story lines). I usually read a comic issue or two during November but otherwise I stay away from anything that could get me out of the mood of writing.
I don't need wifi to write :) And unfortunately my hands cramp pretty easily...long before the daily word count goal. :'(
I live near Aurora....Actually, I've been meaning to talk to my library about hosting a write-in, although I'm only 17 so not sure if that's a restriction or not....
I'm familiar with Linux and Openoffice as that's what my laptop had. :) I don't speak much more computer than that, so no clue what an NEC Mobilepro 900c means....as long as it types and can handle files on a flashdrive, I'm probably good.
Hm....if I used all of what's left of my birthday money, I could, but I'd rather use whatever I get from the insurance to cover my old one. We'll see.
Thanks so much for the ideas and sorry for the late reply! :)
I'll see if I can make it to some Naperville write-ins and let you know! :)
Downer's Grove is also a bit of a stretch for me, but if it wasn't every day, I might be able to pull something off. Unfortunately car insurance doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon, so I can't drive even though I have my license. :'(
This review has a picture of the small NEC Mobilepro 900c (it is a handheld pc). I'll try to remember to bring it with me to write-ins; but people's best bet for using one of my spares is to NaNo mail me in advance. I will definitely be at the Woodridge and Naperville Public Library write-ins; I might attend some of the others as well.
If you go to the Eola Branch of the Aurora Public Library, try to talk with Angie Baugher--she's worked with us in the past to host write-ins.
This year, I'm in grad school, and for one of my classes, our primary assignments are book talks & annotations. So to get ready for November, I read all of my books early and started on some of my annotations/read-a-like lists so I'd have less homework in November. I can't work ahead in my other classes, but every little bit helps.
The main thing I'll be doing is writing at work when we're really slow. I can pull up 740words.com and be able to access my writing from work or homeand it'll count my words! Also, if I leave the computer for a few minutes, my screen will lock, so no one can read it. I work the morning shift on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I'll have maybe 10 questions in 4 hours, so I'm going to take advantage of that down time.
I almost decided to not try this year. I've never made the minimum word count and have some social commitments I can't skip. After going on the forums, especially the ones for Naperville, I've decided to give it a go. I think the no TV is the best bet for me. That's why I pay for the darn DVR.I may not make any write ins because most are at least a 30 minute drive for me. I'm keeping my eye on the Elmhurst thread.
I got my body clock to go to a 4:30 am wake up just this week. That is so I can get a work out in ( never skip that) and takecare of personal business. Home by 4 pmand writing most evenings. There's no kids at our house anymore and my husband is self sufficient. I should be able to do this.
My husband got me a new laptop, an early Christmas present. It works really well. I'm ready. Carol