Project NaNoWriMo: Finding the Time

What is the biggest hurdle to finishing your book? (Or heck, even getting started?) For most people, it’s finding the time to get writing. Everyone is busy, right? Whether you have a day job, kids, or a laundry list of responsibilities, there are a million things to get in your way.

So how can you squeeze something like NaNoWriMo into your already busy schedule?

Get Up Early

I’ve been waking up at about 5am to get a good chunk of writing time in. I can squeeze anywhere from 500-800 words before anyone else wakes up. Mornings are actually my most productive and creative time, so this is working very well for me.


I installed GoogleDocs on my phone, so now, anytime I’m waiting someplace–say the doctor’s office or waiting in line to vote (true story!)–instead of mindless thumbing through Instagram, I tap out a few words. Find moments when you’d normally be wasting time, and use it to knock out even 100 words.

Stop Watching TV

I said it. I’m not sorry. I like TV as much as the next guy, but honestly, we all watch too much of it. Instead of bingeing for a couple hours every night, write for an hour or two and then reward yourself with a 30 minute episode. But seriously, you don’t need TV. Really.

Writing Sprints

AKA: the Pomodoro method. The Pomodoro method has been my lifesaver this past week when the writing has been tough. Basically, you set a times for 15 minutes and you do nothing else but write. You may not stop to go to the bathroom, or check your email, or switch a load of laundry. You write and that is it. When the timer goes off, you take a five minute break and do something else. (Like refill your coffee cup!) Then you do another 15 minute sprint of writing. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can hit your word count when you’re hyper-focused.

Use Bribery

I am not above bribery. Use whatever you want to dangle in front of your face as a reward when you get your word count in. TV, wine, more coffee, a piece of your kid’s Halloween candy, whatever. Give yourself a reward for when you hit a tough patch.

We can do this! Block out the time you need to get that writing done and let me know how it’s going! (If you’re anything like me, it’s a hot mess!)


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