With NaNoWriMo starting on November first, I felt pretty good. 1780 words a day? No problem! HA. A week into NaNoWriMo, my husband accepted a job that would require us to move to Denver, so we hopped on a flight to go house hunting and saw 30 houses in a day and a half, sooooo you might say I was slightly distracted the rest of the week trying to pick what suburb of Denver to live in, pick a house in that suburb, go through the contracting process, which then falls apart, select a different home and start the process again…sigh…and all the while, I am doing my best to stay focused in pursuing my NaNoWriMo goals. Needless to say, I’m behind. While it may be tempting to just say, “Well, at least I wrote 14k words in two weeks” and quit, I’ve really been looking forward to NaNoWriMo and I don’t want to throw in the towel.
Distractions during writing time are kind of like when you are at the beach trying to enjoy a nice picnic and you are getting attacked by seagulls. It’s almost impossible to concentrate long enough to eat a single chip before they snatch it away from you! In my case, type a single word before the distractions attack.
So, haha for those of us who are behind in writing goals, I decided to write a list for myself, which I thought I’d share to help anyone who needs to get back on track with writing:
Split your writing time. I tried to do all my NaNo writing all at once and that worked out great at first, but then, the house hunting started and urgent time sensitive emails and alerts kept popping up…usually during my writing time, so I decided that by splitting my writing session in two, I will be able to take a “deal with the distractions before they kill me” break and then get back to my writing!
Create official office hours. I read a blog this week about how this simple change in mindset can help you improve your productivity in your writing. Whether your office hours are 6am to 8am or 7pm to 10pm, while we are in the writing office, we work. Just like in a “real” job, you aren’t allowed to make private phone calls or send personal emails. No distractions allowed!
Writing Sprints. If office hours just aren’t practical, try writing sprints. The rules are simple. Set the timer for 15 minutes and just write and don’t stop until that buzzer goes off! Try not to pause to rearrange a sentence to flow better as this is strictly for boosting your word count.
Write for 10 more minutes. After hours of editing or writing, I get to the point when I’m “done,” but lately, I’ve tried going for just 10 more minutes beyond my original surrender point. It may not seem like much, but those 10 extra minutes add up throughout the week and can help us reach our goals faster! And sometimes, it can result in a second wind!
Anyway, I just wanted to encourage everyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo and those who are trying to write beyond the distractions. We can do it. I am a very sedimentary person. I never thought I would live farther than 1.5 hrs from New Orleans, but here I go off into the unknown, stretching my comfort zone…and while it is causing earth-shattering distractions, haha I want to push through it because NaNoWriMo is about finding a writing rhythm and pumping out a book even when your life is already packed with distractions.
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