Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Monday was the day my fifth National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts. This
insanity challenge requires me to write 50,000 words in 30 days.
It’s a great way to get a first draft done, because it requires me to put aside the inner editor and just get the words out.
While the task is daunting, writing isn’t complicated unless I make it so. I can take definite steps to simplify the writing process and spend more time writing than dealing with “stuff”. Here are the simplicity methods I have adopted over the past four years.
Do What You Can Ahead Of Time
The rules for NaNoWriMo say that you can’t start writing the book until November 1. It doesn’t say anything about the other work that goes into writing a book: plotting, outlining and designing characters.
While No Plot? No Problem! might be the battle cry for the founder of NaNoWriMo, I find that I have to have some idea of where I am going before I write. If I don’t have it when I sit down to write, I must invent it before I write the actual story. I spend October working these details out.
Clear the Decks of Life
I know that November is going to be consumed with writing. So anything that can be done ahead of time is done during October. Yes, that means that many of the holiday tasks get done two months ahead. The gardens are cleaned out, and all the winter prep is done weeks before my neighbors do it.
It also means that the calendar gets cleared. I don’t commit to weekend trips during November. I am also very cautious about what I say yes to. Every hour that I am socializing could be spent writing.
Write In Odd Spaces of Time
Writing 1667 words a day doesn’t require a solid block of time. I make use of odd moments here and there – lunch time, waiting for piano lessons, time while things are cooking. When I use the odd moments, I find that my word counts go up quickly.
Make It Easy To Write
I don’t do things if they are hard. Making starting to write easy means that I have my materials with me. A laptop or mini-notebook are with me at all times, or at least a pen and paper. My back-story and notes travel with me everywhere. Having the information with me all the time robs me of the excuse that “I didn’t have [x]” in order to write.
Keep Things Organized
This doesn’t have to be an over-the-top kind of thing, but having my notes in a binder with dividers keeps everything in order so I can quickly turn to what I need. Having piles of papers and sticky notes just forces me to waste precious time searching for things.
Don’t Worry About Methodology
There are as many methods to producing a book out there as there are authors. I’m just starting to come into the realization now that there is no formula to make an interesting and exciting book. Each author has their own style, and so do I. If I spend time making my book fit someone else’s definition, I will be complicating my writing process.
Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo? I’d love to know! And share any tips for simplifying writing projects below.
Photo by mpclemens