Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Time Management Tuesday: Managing Time With The NaNoWriMo Model

In case you don't recall, for National Novel Writing Month this year I worked on a project I'd already started. It wasn't a true or traditional NaNoWriMo experience. I wasn't signed up at the NaNoWriMo site. What I was doing was using the month as a set-aside time for binge writing. My goals for the month were:
  • Write two-thirds of a book.
  • Come up with a plan for the last third of the book.
  • Work on focus training


NaNo Results

  • I wrote 14,705 words, which amounted to 55 pages and 4 chapters. Since I'd already completed 2 chapters earlier, I now have 6. That's not two-thirds of this book.
  • I don't have a complete plan for the last third, though I do have the beginning of a plan, notes for many of the next chapters, and an ending.
  • I stayed pretty focused, though it meant clinging to the work with my psyche's fingernails, while the rest of my life was weaving back and forth around me. Distractions came from November's holiday and the biggie coming up in December, along with just general family needs. By mid-month I wasn't meditating, exercising, and putting in any extra tai chi practice outside of class, so I could stay on task with the manuscript. I also didn't learn anything about how to focus that I could apply to other work situations or life in general. I've been expecting that to happen for going on fifteen years now.


My NaNoWriMo Was Good


 In spite of those somewhat downer results, I feel this year's National Novel Writing experience for three reasons:
  1. I created a model for generating first drafts. I spent weeks before starting work planning chapters, characters, and settings. That's what I should be doing.
  2. I got into using placeholders.
  3. I was generating a chapter a week, roughly. Very roughly. Back in the day when I was between parenting young 'uns and caring for old ones and had the most control of my time that I've ever had, I was producing a week of new material a week. (Hey, don't judge me.) Last month I didn't have as much time as I did in the good 'ol days, but by prepping beforehand and letting the rest of my life go to hell, I was able to write as much as I did when things were going better.  

Next Time


I would use the NaNoWriMo model again, absolutely. But never again in November or any month with a major holiday. Or in a month preceding a month with a major holiday, in fact. The pressure it creates is unnecessary and doesn't do anything to help with the work.

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