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NaNoWriMo and Working Full Time

by Greer | Content Lead | Writing Tips | Writer's Life

October is nearing an end which can only mean one thing: NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us! Nanowrimo - or National Novel Writing Month if we're being proper - is more than just a writer term for November. It's the month in which writers from all over the world aim to write 50,000 words towards a novel – that’s 1,667 words a day – and it is something to be excited about if you have time to commit to it. Those who work or study full time, it's a goal that seems too big that they likely will not bother. After all, it can't possibly be achieved by time-limited workers like them...right?



‘Real writers make the time to write.’ - Patronising People

Give. Me. A. Break! The 'real writers make time' quip gets old fast and often dismisses reality in a way that cripples rather than encourages. Real writers can be full-time carers, employees, students, and human beings with genuine commitments. Making the time for NaNoWriMo is no easy feat even for calmer schedules, so take your snidey words elsewhere!



Story Time!


The first few days of my first NaNoWriMo experience found me working 12 hour days in a non-stop environment. I had to drive to and from my job in rush hour traffic. Toss on my need to eat, drink, sleep, and keep myself somewhat clean, and I found myself with very little time to settle into writing activities. If you work or study full time, you may too find your time is extremely limited, and you have my sympathy during National Novel Writing Month. And for those of you who also have kids, I am simply in awe of your energy and focus. Do not let anyone make you feel any less of a writer just because your commitments are full-on. Okay, now with that out the way, let’s look at ways you can make NaNoWriMo doable even with a hard schedule such as yours:


  • Adust your sleeping hours to fit an hour at the start or end of your day. I write better at night.

  • Avoid social events during your working days.


  • If possible, use your break/lunch time to write a quick 300 words. I can’t do this but you might!


  • Leave a ‘next time, I will’ note for yourself (takes >2 mins) so you can dive right back in later.


  • Got meaty chapters? Jump to them when you need some serious word count! Words will flow easier.


  • Utilise weekends: Don’t bully yourself when you fail to meet a word count, just make note of how many words short you are and try to make it up whe you are off work.


  • Tell friends/family of your plans, and cash in on any babysitting offers you might have!


  • Consider doing NaNoWriMo over 2 months, cutting daily expectations in half!


  • Is November the best month for you? If not, there’s zero shame in moving your project to a later date.

  • Look at your weekly routine and find pockets of time each day, or remove/merge activities, and design a daily schedule for November.

But what if – despite all your efforts – you don’t win NaNoWriMo? Simply put: You must not berate yourself. Many writers with calmer schedules who fall short of the 50,000 word goal during November still celebrate their achievements, so why shouldn't you? Progress was made. You didn’t hide away from a difficult challenge. Beyond that, you likely still have something to show for it. If you worked, you achieved. That's winning. Fact.


October is nearing an end which can only mean one thing: NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us! Nanowrimo - or National Novel Writing Month if we're being proper - is more than just a writer term for November. It's the month in which writers from all over the world aim to write 50,000 words towards a novel – that’s 1,667 words a day – and it is something to be excited about if you have time to commit to it. Those who work or study full time, it's a goal that seems too big that they likely will not bother. After all, it can't possibly be achieved by time-limited workers like them...right?



‘Real writers make the time to write.’ - Patronising People

Give. Me. A. Break! The 'real writers make time' quip gets old fast and often dismisses reality in a way that cripples rather than encourages. Real writers can be full-time carers, employees, students, and human beings with genuine commitments. Making the time for NaNoWriMo is no easy feat even for calmer schedules, so take your snidey words elsewhere!



Story Time!


The first few days of my first NaNoWriMo experience found me working 12 hour days in a non-stop environment. I had to drive to and from my job in rush hour traffic. Toss on my need to eat, drink, sleep, and keep myself somewhat clean, and I found myself with very little time to settle into writing activities. If you work or study full time, you may too find your time is extremely limited, and you have my sympathy during National Novel Writing Month. And for those of you who also have kids, I am simply in awe of your energy and focus. Do not let anyone make you feel any less of a writer just because your commitments are full-on. Okay, now with that out the way, let’s look at ways you can make NaNoWriMo doable even with a hard schedule such as yours:


  • Adust your sleeping hours to fit an hour at the start or end of your day. I write better at night.

  • Avoid social events during your working days.


  • If possible, use your break/lunch time to write a quick 300 words. I can’t do this but you might!


  • Leave a ‘next time, I will’ note for yourself (takes >2 mins) so you can dive right back in later.


  • Got meaty chapters? Jump to them when you need some serious word count! Words will flow easier.


  • Utilise weekends: Don’t bully yourself when you fail to meet a word count, just make note of how many words short you are and try to make it up whe you are off work.


  • Tell friends/family of your plans, and cash in on any babysitting offers you might have!


  • Consider doing NaNoWriMo over 2 months, cutting daily expectations in half!


  • Is November the best month for you? If not, there’s zero shame in moving your project to a later date.

  • Look at your weekly routine and find pockets of time each day, or remove/merge activities, and design a daily schedule for November.

But what if – despite all your efforts – you don’t win NaNoWriMo? Simply put: You must not berate yourself. Many writers with calmer schedules who fall short of the 50,000 word goal during November still celebrate their achievements, so why shouldn't you? Progress was made. You didn’t hide away from a difficult challenge. Beyond that, you likely still have something to show for it. If you worked, you achieved. That's winning. Fact.


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