In case you didn't know, I managed to "win" NaNoWriMo again this year, my third victory in a row!
I thought I had it all figured out, I even had FIFTEEN bullet points written down with some key plot moments, names and short bios for my main characters, and all my locations mapped out right down to the "L" shape of the MC's penthouse apartment (fancy schmancy!), the style and layout of the bank where he has a safety deposit box (ooooh intriguing!), and the location of the fax machine in the office where he shags his secretary (scandalous!). Even with all this prepared and ready to go by the time I went to bed on October 31 it was still a long, difficult journey to victory and I learned a few things along the way.
Days Off are Important (and Dangerous)
Just Keep Writing
If You're Going to Plan, then Plan Already
- I felt better about my writing on days were I could get in 500 words after dinner and before the kids went to bed. I usually did this when they were eating their desserts or playing Minecraft. I planned these in based on the schedules for events (volleyball, play dates, my events, wife's travel schedule, etc...).
- I made it rain on weekends, and starting NaNo on a weekend put me in a great position. I wrote almost double my target on every weekend (except this one, because I finished).
- I kept a routine. I wan't scrambling to squeeze words in before work, or at lunch at work (I keep my day job and my writing quite separate), or anything like that. I designated times when I could write, and then that's when I wrote.
- I stopped writing most nights with enough time to watch an episode of Louie or Downton Abbey. Having 45-60 minutes before bed to wind down and enjoy some time watching TV with my wife really helped keep me sane.