NaNoWriMo Time Management Tip #1: Compartmentalizing

 Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, and even though I am not participating, I thought I would help out my fellow writers out there who are feverishly typing away to manage their time well.

I write 1000 words a day even if I don’t feel like doing so.  It is my daily regimen.  If I am not working on my current WIP, I work on another WIP.  I have about four of these in the works, and even though I am working very diligently to produce Book 3 of This Broken Earth I will sometimes whittle away at the other projects.  However, let me share with you my workload outside of writing books:

1.  I’m a full time teacher, teaching four sections of English III (juniors), an AP Language & Composition course, and an AP Literature & Composition course.

2.  I am a father of four children between the ages of 12 and 7.

3.  I direct and manage the Alternative Education Program at my high school, trying to prevent my little nest of at risk students from dropping out of school. 

On top of all of this, I manage to produce long form novels of 50,000 words or more.  The only reason I am not participating in NaNoWriMo is because I am slaving away at this three part trilogy and plan to try the competition next year. 

This month, I plan to post a tip a day designed to help those of you attempting this monster effort.  Excluding this post, the posts will be very short and sweet so that you may return directly to writing after reading them. 

Here goes:

Time Management Tip #1: Compartmentalize

You might say to yourself “I’m going to sit down and write today” but if you don’t plan out your day with a set schedule, compartmentalizing all events of your day into blocks of time, you will not write anything and you will find yourself watching yet another episode of Star Trek Voyager or a myriad of other time wasters. 

Get a planner or use the calendar on your phone with alarms that tell you to get to work.  If you do not do this you are wasting your time (pardon the pun). Schedule at least two hours a night for writing or you will not get done.  (I would schedule 3, but that’s just me).  In order to write at least 50,000 words in a month you will need to write roughly 1,670 (rounding up) words per day.  It usually takes me 2 hours to churn out 1,200, but if you are lucky enough to have 6 hours a day to write, that’s only roughly 270 words per hour.  Now that’s do-able. 

I hope you outlined before you began…

Remember: The only thing that will get your book written is bum glue and fingers moving.

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

15 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Time Management Tip #1: Compartmentalizing

  1. How about researching, editing, outlining, planning? It’s really really hard to write 50 thousand words with good quality in a month.

  2. This is good advice, even if you aren’t doing the NaNoWriMo! It certainly seems like something I need to do more of – set specific times to get things done – as I am a chronic procrastinator!

  3. I had to do this this years since I’m getting busier. Did a full colored map with times per week and write in all the possible times I can nano while the rest if full with other appointments. Including eye break from the computer and lunch. I’m still getting the hang of being strict about it though, sometimes I sneak. But hey, I still get my words done!

  4. Looking forward to your tips, Roger. I am doing NaNoWriMo this year, and I have been channeling Anne Lamotte’s advice to let myself write sh*@%y drafts. For me, it’s all about turning off the inner editor for a bit and letting the lines flow.

  5. Definitely hard to compartmentalize… what do you leave out? Have to work, eat and bathe… well, still going to try!

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