NaNoWriMo: Planning and Pacing

Oh, next Saturday is the big kick-off, and I’m so ready — well, I think I am. The last several years of trying to get my words on paper have been fun, but the editing process proved my writing was lacking something. I was forcing the words onto the page to meet a word-count rather than to get the story into words. This year, I have a different plan.

Planning for NaNo

This year, I’m doing something different.  I’ve got my main NaNo story that I want to write, but I’ve also got several short stories and another novella in the wings in case I get stuck while writing my main story. I didn’t have a back-up plan the last couple of years, and that was something that really seemed to help a few friends of mine. So, I’m going to give it a shot.

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block comes from two things – boredom/laziness and plot issues.  To prevent me from getting bored, I have other plots to work on, which will also help my subconscious rework my main while I focus on another project. When I focus too closely on one thing, that seems to be my down fall. So we’re going to avoid writer’s block this month at all costs!

Reward System

Many writers like to reward themselves for reaching a goal. This is a great idea, but since NaNo will be taking time out of my daily routine that I’m normally on my feet, I’m going to reward myself differently. My new calendar has a box to check off for every 250 words. I get to check them off daily as I reach my word count. If I reach my weekly goal, I’m going to treat myself to a coffee date with a friend, a makeover at the mall, or something just as luscious that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and won’t add to my waistline.

Pacing During NaNo

NaNo is a marathon – it’s simply about finishing, not how fast you finished. In a marathon, you have people of all types competing. Some want the best time, some want to do better than their last time, and others are in it just to challenge themselves not to sit on the side lines and watch. Whatever your reason for doing NaNo, focus on YOUR GOALS, not the goals of others.

Writing Buddies

Writing buddies are great to have, but don’t look at their word counts. It doesn’t help – I promise. Just focus on your count and your goals. Writing buddies come in handy when you need some encouragement from a fellow writer. I try to touch base with my writing buddies at least once every two weeks during NaNo, and once a month the rest of the year. This keeps us all in contact and allows me to continue to encourage them after the writing frenzy is over. But don’t make that the priority of November if you have a high word-count goal.

Focus on Today

NaNo has set up the writing goal for 50,000 words which makes for 1,667 words per day. While my calendar allows me to check off every 250 words, I don’t let that motivate me. I write what I can in the time I have – focusing on the story – and after I’m done with my time frame, I look at the word count. Mini-goals work well for me, but I don’t let that be my driving force. If you find that a mini-word goal count distracts you from writing your story, then stop setting those goals and focus on your writing.

Next week, I’ll fill you in on some tricks to get around editing and distractions! Until then, enjoy this clip I found on a marathon. While you’re laughing, think about this in a writing setting. Enjoy 🙂


About Kristyn Phipps

I'm in love with writing. I first fell in middle school while coping with my parents' divorce. Now, having a family of my own, I want to build on the passion of writing and tell stories from own perspective.
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