So 1 week into NaNoWriMo and I can say I have thoroughly surprised myself! What I have learnt after week 1:
- You CAN build a daily writing habit. Just start off writing with a few words per day and you will notice your word count increase. This will then build momentum and you get into the habit of pulling out your pen and notebook or your laptop.
- You CAN time. I started to grab 20 minute slots throughout my day and challenged myself to write. I got into the habit of writing on my morning commute whenever I could get a seat on the tube. If I got a seat that meant 20 minutes of writing time and by the end of the week I was writing about 400 words in 20 mins. So I was producing around 800 words during total commuting time – half of my total word count for the day!
- Utilise your lunch break. Instead of wondering around aimlessly window shopping I committed to spending 30 minutes of my lunch break writing. Again a 30-minute sprint allowed me to write around 600/700 words.
- Use writing SPRINTS! These have seriously changed the way I write and HOW much I can write. A sprint is when you simply time yourself and write as much as you can until the time count is up. I found this really helps me to focus and I consciously put away distractions during the word sprint i.e. no email or phone checking. You can use your phone timer or just a regular watch to time your sprint. I also downloaded Chris Fox’s 5000 Words Per Hour Free app. It’s simply a timer where you can add in how many words you have written and keep a record. I found it very encouraging! You can read more about
- Build a routine. By the end of the week I had got into the habit of doing a 30-minute word sprint after eating lunch and whenever I bagged a seat on the Tube, I felt obliged to pull out my notebook and start writing!
I am now averaging 2000 words a day by writing 3 x 30 min sprints. What I am learning is that writing is just a mindset. You need to have the right attitude and the words will come out.
How are you progressing with NaNo? It’s not too late to still sign up!