How to Prepare for a Month of Intense Writing

Updating this post from last year, in preparation for NaNoWriMo. These considerations were best addressed in October, but it’s never too late to think about how to prepare for the  month ahead.

How to Prepare for a Month of Intense Writing

What can you do in advance to make sure you can focus on the 50,000 word goal ahead of you? Below are some questions to ponder in October.

YOU, The Writer

What physical or personal needs do you need to meet before Nov 1?

What can you do in advance?

What activities will you need to delay or put aside?

What activities help you write?

What prevents you from writing?

Can you give up TV, Facebook, movies for the month?

Do you have a plan for daily needs (meals, exercise?

Do you need to enlist outside support?

Will you need to change your sleep schedule?

Do you need/have a writing partner?



What is your most creative time of day?

Is it practical to work then?

Where do you work best?

Do you have a physical place only for writing?

Can you set one up for this month?

Will you work alone, join others, or both?

Do you have a general idea in mind for your story?

Do you have a daily word count goal?

Do you have a writing buddy to hold you accountable?



Can you write around your job schedule?

How will NaNoWriMo impact your job performance?

How will your job impact NaNoWriMo?

Is your employer aware you are undertaking NaNoWriMo?

Can you say no to extra work, overtime, travel?



Is your family on board with your commitment to NaNoWriMo?

Can you assign extra duties/chores for this month?

Can you establish a daily “Do Not Disturb, I’m Writing” time?

Can you enlist help from family or friends with meals, childcare, carpool?

Do you know how to use a crock pot and/or order a pizza?

Will you need to take time off to enjoy Thanksgiving?

Will your friends understand if you can’t meet for lunch?

Do you have an end-of-NaNo celebration planned?


How can you use MATH to be successful at NaNoWriMo?

The NaNoWriMo goal is 50,000 words in the month of November.  To be successful, I believe you should write every day, but how much?

If you write every day, for 30 days, that’s a daily word count of 1,667.

If you take off Thanksgiving to watch parades, the daily word count becomes 1,725.

If you take off Thanksgiving and Sundays, the daily word count becomes 2,000.

If you need to work primarily on weekends (9 days), the daily word count is 5,555.

How many days do you plan to write? Divide 50,000 by the number of writing days, and you have your daily word count.


Think about your life and how NaNoWriMo will affect it on these levels. Do you need to create a writing nest in your home? Learn to DVR your TV shows and freeze some meatloaf meals? Would hooking up with a writing buddy keep you honest? Practice turning off that inner editor and critic, because in November, she needs to Go Away


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