Preparing for NaNoWriMo – Step 3 – Make a schedule

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month
Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Many writers tell me that they don’t participate in NaNoWriMo because it feels forced.  They feel rushed, pressured to write, and don’t write anything they want to keep or send out.

I believe this is an excuse.

These are the same writers who tell me if The Agent calls from New York with The Book Deal of a Lifetime with The Publishing House, they’ll finish their manuscripts, like instantly.  BOOM!  They’ll meet that deadline – and their work will be great!

My question is, “How do you know?  Have you ever done it before?”

When I first started participating in NaNoWriMo, I did it simply because it was a challenge.  Could I even produce 50,000 words in a month, let alone 50,000 words I liked?  But first, I had to look every writer’s biggest problem in the eye, say it with me, you know the words, “I don’t have the time.”

My former officemate used to tell me, “I can do anything for a month.”  And that’s the beauty of NaNoWriMo, you don’t have to change your life and how it runs forever.  It’s just for a month.  So, open your calendar, schedule the time.  If you aren’t used to writing at this capacity, it’s going to be difficult to finish if you don’t block off the time.  If you already write consistently at this capacity, your calendar is already rock solid.  Take a few minutes, make choices now.  And, on behalf of your loved ones, figure out Thanksgiving plans sooner rather than later.  Give yourself and your writing enough time.


  1. Yes, practice. Put the miles in. Log time in the saddle. Train the muscles. Because the more you write, the more you write. You’re ready for this. You’re warmed up. When the new month peels off the calendar, you’ll be wheels-burning out of the starting gate. #inspired #impressed

    1. Even the business of writing helps me prepare! I’ve been spending this last week writing this blog, my social media, preparing submissions, and other things that require my personal voice but won’t go into my NaNoWriMo work. Clearing the business so when it’s time to start, I can be present.

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