Thursday, 13 November 2014

Finding Time to Write - NaNoWriMo Tips & Tricks

Actually, I just got a lovely message about my blog. This post was in the works anyway but wasn't due to come out until Saturday. However, the person in question said he found it hard to find time to write, for NaNoWriMo. I hit 400k today, and am personally going for the million words. Awe-inspiring? Apparently. Hard? Yes.
Writing a million, or a thousand, or fifty thousand, is hard work. And getting the words out of your noggin' and onto the page might be easier for some. I can just type freely, and the words always seem to make sense, so I can't say much about getting over that (I do get writers block rarely, I'll do a post about it this weekend), but I can help people with writing faster, silencing the inner editor or critic, and planning, and finding time to write.

First, let me say that I type at 140+ WPM on a good day. And let me also say that not many people can go to those speeds at all. Some people can get up to 130+ with bad accuracy, and some people can go above 140. Anyway, this post assumes you're writing at 100wpm which seems to be a good average for people in NaNoWriMo.
Some people struggle to get words down - that is not a problem for me. Not because of a sophisticated plan (oh lord no, when I first start making plans, I'll probably never hit 50k), but because I let myself write. This isn't a post about writing more, though, this is about finding the time. So, to complete NaNoWriMo, you need to hit 1667 words a day. How about 2000? It gives you a nice buffer, and lets you hit 50k faster. 2000/100=20. You need to write for twenty minutes a goddamn day to hit 2k. Honestly, it isn't hard. Even if you type slower, it isn't too long. I just saw someone in the NaNoWriMo forums say they crank out 2.5k in an hour. And you know what? That's perfectly A-OK! But I can probably make an educated guess that they don't spend all their effort correctly for that hour. They probably go do drinks, or waste time, or check their phone. If you can't actually do above 50 WPM, that is okay too!  
Every day, pick a time when you are free. For me, I like to write in the evenings. You don't even need to do all that time in one. Work out your average working pace, without warring. If you do 100 WPM when you're taking your time, then do a ten minute session, then go back to it for another fifteen minutes. Heck, you could just do four 5-minute sessions throughout the day. I run multiple businesses, am in the chats a lot, and also attend college... even I could spare a total of twenty minutes.
Alternatively, ignore what I said. You want 2k a day, right? To give you a buffer in case things go wrong. But you're also a busy person.Again, assuming you type 100 WPM, you need 14000 words a week. That's 14,000 over seven days. And to say again, that is twenty damn  minutes a day. Professional authors spend all day writing, and whilst you're probably not, it's harder than just 20 minutes. But what if you're busy all day on Wednesdays? Or you really are busy and can't afford to waste 20 minutes? Not to worry! Assuming your weekends are free (Saturday and Sunday), you can do a bulk of that in those two days. Try doing 3,500 a day on Saturday and 3,500 on Sunday. It isn't hard, at all. Spend all day if you have to. Then for every day through the week write 1400 words. That's fourteen minutes. If your Wednesday's are busy (for example, you wake up at work and go to sleep at work) then write 2.8k on Tuesday.
Long story short, it is impossible to tell me you don't have time to write. Even if you're slower than 100 WPM, there's always time. People think I'm being harsh, but that's the truth. Writing for twenty minutes a day, maybe 10 minutes before work and 10 minutes at lunch, is more than possible! 
But remember that girl who writes 2.5k an hour? Yeah she's important. Whilst I did really see someone say this, I am going to tell you that she didn't focus for that hour, otherwise she would have been done. If you want to make the most of an hours worth of writing, I need you to follow these instructions. Go home, turn on your PC, or laptop or open your notepad. Get a pen or make sure your keyboard works. Go to the toilet. Go downstairs, and get a drink of tea. Better yet, go to the shop and buy a few bottles of cola or water or whatever you wanna' drink. Grab some chocolate bars, while you're at it! Tell your family you're going to be doing some serious work or homework. Sit down. Crack your fingers. And write. There is NO excuse for any distractions now, unless your house is on fire. You've got food, you've got a drink, you've already gone and had a piss. Why would you need to stop writing? 100*60=6,000. You would hit 6k or there about if you type at 100 WPM. I bet that girl had a toilet break. Also, turn off the internet, or block sites you don't need. Personally, I'd advise you to check out my list of distraction-free writings apps or use ILYS writer.
That's my little guide on how to write, of course I'm assuming here - if you write slower than 100 WPM, you should do your own calculations! Just a warning, I advise you to take a break every half hour if you're doing writing for an hour. Just do some yoga or something, get your blood moving. But there's no excuse to not write, really.


  1. Hey! Visiting from the GTW's link-up.
    Woah, that is impressive that you can type that fast. I feel like I'm pretty good with typing, but I'm NO where near that fast. Keep up the writing! That must be amazing to be on your way to a million words. :)

  2. Hey Aidyl! Thanks for commenting! I already had my million by the end of NaNoWriMo, but thanks again! Keep trucking!



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