Advance scouting for #NaNoWriMo

camouflage-binoBeing the planner that I am, and with NaNoWriMo speeding it’s way into my life, I decided to use the last couple of days to do some advance scouting. Having served in the US Army, I have learned the importance of information gathering during your mission planning process. So I have taken to finding the best methods for developing my story idea and what tools I would use, but I now needed to figure out the best environment for writing.

Up till now, I have relied on spontaneous writing, what time permitted and I was in front of a computer I would just start writing. If I want to be successful, both for NaNoWriMo and as an author, I need to be more deliberate in writing. What I wanted to do if find the best time (when), place (where) and surrounding (how) for me to write.

Where: Since I write on a computer, the place needs to be somewhere that I can have my laptop, and I have a nice laptop desk with wheels so I can be almost anywhere in my home to write. Also, since it is a laptop I can take it with me to any write-ins I want to participate in or writing group gatherings. Where I write is very flexible.That was an easy variable to work out.

When: I work Monday through Friday, regular 9-5, so I will have to either write in the morning, evening and/or weekends. Since I am not much of a morning person, I do not think I would very productive to get up earlier to try and write, besides I use mornings for exercise and to get my blood flower before heading out to work. During the week, I will need to write in the evening. Weekends I like to spend most of the day with my wife and kids, so here I will have to keep it to weekends. Now, I may make an exception to this for NaNoWriMo, as it is just for November, but I did want to use this process to find the most effective way to be productive long term. So that gives me a good idea of when is the best time.

How: This one was the one that hurt. I like to set up my laptop in the living room, where my family is either watching TV, playing games or just hanging out together. This way, even when I am doing something on the computer I can participate and feel connected and accessible. As I tried to do some writing I found it very hard to keep my thoughts flowing with the TV playing. I decided I would either have to wear headphones with music or relocate to be productive. This is not a problem, I have a very good spotify playlist and if relocation is needed, I have other rooms to choose from. The hard part is the disconnection from the family, lucky for me I have a supportive wife and kids, so they told me they would not watch TV while I write if that helps, or they will support my idea to relocate to another room, what ever works best they will encourage me to do.

I now feel like I have a good attack plan, not only for NaNoWriMo, but for being a consistent writer. NaNo is not just about writing 50k words in 30 days, it is about forming a habit of writing and letting that propel you to publishing. I am feeling more and more optimistic that I will be successful in November, and beyond.

Until next time…


6 thoughts on “Advance scouting for #NaNoWriMo

  1. I had some of the same issues. I find that I do a lot of writing in the family room while kids and husband are doing other things. When I’m in the flow, I automatically block them out. However when my heart isn’t into it, I find that talking to them about what I’m writing pulls them in and also gives me great ideas/feedback – of course I’m writing MG which makes this easier with the kids, but it worked great with the hubby too! Good luck!

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