Categories FeaturedNanowrimoWriting

Pace Yourself

Trying to reach 1,667 words every day during the month of November is a challenge. I know from experience. I’ve participated on many occasions and I’ve failed to reach 50,000 words more times than I have made it.

For some, 1,667 words is not a big deal. They easily go double or triple that and reach their goal before half the month is even over. If that’s you, I applaud you and at this point of this blog post, you can be dismissed, since you’re doing just fine.

But, for those of us with limited time, I think it’s important to realize that you don’t have to write all of that in one go.  So many times I’ve tried to squeeze my daily goal into one session and it just doesn’t work for me. I get more stressed out because I know I need to get it done NOW, not to mention tired from late nights. Instead, pace yourself. Write a bit here, a bit there.

The average writer can type about 40 words per minute. That means that it takes the average writer about 45 minutes to get through 1,667 words if they can write without interruption and without stopping. Realistically, it’ll take you longer that but for the sake of argument, let’s use that number.

The key for me has been splitting my writing up. I do a little bit in the morning, a little bit during my lunch and a little bit after work when the kids are sleeping. That means that if I can dedicate about 15 minutes during each one of these times, once in the morning, once around noon and once at night, I can get to 1,667 words each day.

Like I alluded to above, in reality, it never works quite like the above. It’s hard to just sit down and write. Half the time it seems like there’s a software update that must be applied just then, or the Internet isn’t working (why do you need that anyway?) or the cat demands your attention. However, once those distractions have been taken care of, if you have a good outline that you can follow, once you actually sit down, you can do it. Even if you take five to ten more minutes, it’s still around half an hour at a time.

By pacing yourself and splitting your writing up, you’re avoiding the potential scenario where it’s 9 pm at night, not a word is written and the clock is ticking. These, if I find myself at that point I know I’ll be done by 9:30 pm because I wrote throughout the day.

With that said, I’ll let you get back to your writing. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. Pace yourself, relax. You can do it. If you find yourself with extra time, by all means, use it. Keep writing. The more you can manage, the less you have to worry about tomorrow.

I'm just one of those guys that like well as drawing, writing, reading, coding and a whole bunch of other things I rarely have time for.