… and still stay sane 😉
For everyone that doesn’t know what NaNoWriMo is: NaNoWriMo is the abbreviation of National Novel Writing Month in which you write a 50.000 word novel in the month of November. Which is insane and mind numbing and things like that. Or, at least, that is what I thought last year. This year was totally different and for one simple thing: timed writing.During the last week or so last year I learned about “wordwars” or “sprints” or whatever you want to call them. They usually require you and at least 1 other person and you set a timer and compete for the highest word count within the set time. I’ve been doing my own version of this.
This year I completed NaNoWriMo in 11 days, yes, you read that right, I wrote 50.000 words in 11 days and didn’t spend the whole day writing. Usually it was two sessions, one from 10 to 1 and one from 3 to 5. Which meant I had quite a bit of time left to do other things (unlike last year).
One session means that for that time I write and relax with a timer. I usually set the timer for 10 minutes to write and then for 10 minutes to relax. By giving myself time to relax between writing I can check social media, do some quick research and things like that without totally getting lost and forgetting to write.
I wrote down the wordcounts for each run so I could see what I averaged and I’ve quite consistently been writing 300 words in 10 minute sessions. That is 900 words an hour because I can do 3 on/offs in one hour. 900 words per hour means that 4500/5000 words a day is only about 5/6 hours of work and you don’t even spend it all alone with just the screen. You can still check your social media and other things. Just as long as you keep writing in the set timer.
Only in the last 2 days I found that actually I do better with 20 minute runs, I can average about 700 words in 20 minutes, so that is 350 in 10, plus I can keep the 10 minute breaks in between and get up to 1400 words an hour. 30 minute runs actually makes no difference, I average 900 words in 30 minute sessions and need longer breaks between them.
So, the rules of timed writing:- keep track of your wordcounts so you can find your “sweet spot” time.
– while you are on the timer to write, keep writing, don’t worry about what you wrote, you can always correct it.
– take breaks, I usually take 10 minute breaks between 10 or 20 minute writing runs.
I don’t just use this for NaNoWriMo, I also use it in my other writing and even for university work. If I just start writing I get distracted, but by writing in runs I can be sure I get output because I HAVE to concentrate during a run.
Do you have tricks like this for writing?