February Challenge-NANOWRIMO

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

NANOWRIMO-What the heck is this?

National Novel Writing Month, better known as NANOWRIMO to those of us crazy enough to attempt it, is held every November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. I’ve attempted this at least 4, maybe 5 times, and was only successful at completing it once-in 2019.

A few of the more popular books that have been published that were written during NANOWRIMO are The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, and Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell. Completing NANOWRIMO doesn’t mean you have a manuscript ready to hand over to a publisher. Those 50,000 words are a messy first draft but it’s still a huge accomplishment. Editing comes later.

November is a pretty crazy month for me at work each year because I’m busy prepping our property tax bills to go out. NANOWRIMO is on my 50 Before 50 list and my 2024 Goals so I decided to do it in February this year. Yes, I know, it’s kind of dumb to pick the shortest month of the year to do this in but it’s a leap year so I’m only losing a day. Mathematically this means I need to aim for 1,725 words written a day. No problem, right??

NANOWRIMO-The Strategy

So, how does one go about completing 50,000 words in a month’s time when they work a full-time job?? Good question, and obviously I’ve not been successful at this in the past with my pitiful success rate at this so far. Here are the strategies I’m going to attempt this time around:

  • I’m never NOT busy at work but it’s also not one of my super busy times so I’m going to try to prioritize not working extra hours this month.
  • I have a 4-day weekend this month that I may look into turning into a 5-day weekend since I have a ton of vacation days saved up. Seems like it would be a great opportunity for a writers retreat week if I can find a low-cost writing spot hide-away. That would also knock another item off my 50 Before 50 list so Bonus!!
  • Another item on the 50 before 50 list is to get up at 6am for a week. I know, to some of you this seems ridiculously simple. I am a hard-core night owl though and despise early mornings. Getting up at 6am will give me an extra 90 minutes to write.
  • Remember this is just a messy first draft. I am someone who tends to want to edit as I write and that’s just not feasible when you’re trying to write 50,000 words in a month (or in my case, 29 days). 
  • Figure out my writing spots in advance and plot out a rough schedule. Similar to meal planning, I need to plot out my writing spots. My normal spots are our library, my favorite bookstore, and my aunt’s condo.

    Now that I have a fabulous new office chair I’m going to spend some time in my home office also. Working from home is hard for me though because it’s easy to get distracted with other things like chores, tv, etc. Also have to find a time that my son won’t be in the office space with his gaming because he’s not a quiet individual at those times, lol.

Some NANOWRIMO/Life balance

So there you have it. February is booked solid so catch me in March. I do plan on prioritizing at least 2 posts for the month and at least 2 gym days a week though. Hopefully, I’ll be so busy writing that I can save a bit of money also, or maybe not since this writing pace will probably require more lattes/frappucinos than normal…

Wish me luck!!


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