(this is a slightly different type of post – I’ve not started in on my NanoWrimo work yet)
One of the biggies about the NanoWrimo is in most cases, it encourages people that aren’t writers to take time out and write. For writers it’s a bit of a different proposition – sometimes it’s a kick up the butt to finish a story, sometimes it’s about taking time out from a carreer that may not entirely ‘fulfil’ your writing needs. Kinda like eating fruit and nuts all week, and then splurging on chocolate once a week – or never drinking unless it’s a special occassion.
There’s a problem with the Nano though. I’m still not *at* this point in my life, and I know of writers that are, that are still doing the NanoWrimo, but I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it when I’m actually published. Others ARE doing it, but I’m not sure that when I get to the point that my books are out there, that I can actually let go of promoting and showing off for long enough to actually write another novel in a month. It’s a dumb worry, just like being ‘worried about’ fame, and about one of the other myriad of my neuroses, and until I get there, I’ll never know, but I’m thinking about how I’ve adapted my working schedule right now, to fit the NanoWrimo in – and I thought I’d share a couple of them.
How to take a month off
You are, basically, taking a month off to write, after all, so there’s a couple of simple ways to clear your boards, at least in part.
1) Tivo (or Sky+box or similar) anything you are interested in watching over that month. You can catch up when you’re feeling uninspired, or can’t concentrate as well as you’d like to. These recordings can also be used as a reward 😉 If you’re not lucky enough to have access to a Tivo, or similar, plan carefully what you’d like to watch, and make sure that you’re able to write while watching or move something else to make that time. You should treat your TV plans as you would your writing at any other time of the year.
2) If you work from home, see if you can increase your income for a couple of months before, or conduct your business more frugally – the goal here is not only to be able to ‘afford’ to take time out financially, but to clear some time to allow you to write. It’s important however, to note that you should make sure that your *work* comes first.
If you work outside of your home, you can’t really cut back your time, but you can spend time writing, if you choose, during your lunch hour.
I’ve also cut back on any social events outside of the house, replacing them with my NanoWrimo coffee meets – which has freed up a lot of time.
How have you cleaned up your calendar to make space for the Nano?
Kai is a writer, author and avid reader. A mental health advocate, Ludosport athlete and coder. She’s the mother of two young adults, owned by two cats, and lives with her beloved in the Cotswolds.