I’ve settled in pretty well to camp in just a few short days. I decided to take the rebel route and just casually pop in to write 50,000 words worth of short stories with ten days left in the month. No big deal. I’ve actually completed the November NaNoWriMo in ten days a couple of times before out of necessity: I wrote both of those during grad school where November is precarious month to commit to anything.
The real challenge I’ve found so far is to motivate myself while life is slow. I’m working part time right now and volunteering but it’s nothing like the rush of being in school where every last second of writing time counts. I’ve certainly found a lack of urgency.
How am I battling this?
Word wars. If you are having a hard time getting words on paper and you have a competitive spirit I highly recommend word wars. What are they? Word wars are a competition between writers to see who can write the most words in the allotted time. The word wars can last as long as you’d like or be as short as you can stomach. They do wonders for my productivity. A half hour word war last night with my best friend resulted in a 1,200 word head start on today’s 5,000 word goal.
Don’t know any fellow writers?
When I have no one to write with I set a timer. My favorite amount of time to write for is 20 minutes, but I do get a lot done in a half hour so I usually shoot for that. Setting a timer allows you to focus on getting as much done before that timer goes off. It’s easier to redirect yourself back to writing if you get distracted if you have set aside the time to write.
For maximum effectiveness with the timer be sure to know when you’ll start your next chunk of writing time. Once the timer goes off it’s far too easy to grab a snack or wander into the next room to watch TV. Give yourself 10 minutes to run to the bathroom and grab food and then get back in the chair until you have your writing goals.
What are your productivity secrets? Let me know in the comments!
p.s. 41,000 words and 3 days to go!