Scheduling Time to Write

As I considered committing to National Novel Writing Month(NaNoWriMo), I knew I had a major obstacle. I planned to be out of town for fifteen days at the beginning of the month and then, a few days after we returned, we would drive ten hours each way to spend Thanksgiving weekend with family. And while I believed I could write while I was gone, I also knew I would be distracted by family, friends, and opportunities to play.

I decided the best way to accomplish my goal was to set higher word count goals for the days when I thought I could accomplish more. 50,000 words works out to 1,667 words per day. I set a goal of 2,000 words for most days knowing that some days I wouldn’t be able to write much at all. For instance, the days I flew to and from California, I really didn’t think I could get much done and set a goal of just 500 words for each. While I was visiting family for Thanksgiving, I planned to write a 1,500 words each day since I knew we would want to do other things. For the last day of November, when we would spend ten hours driving, I set a lowly goal of 250 words. On a day when many writers would be hard at work morning to night to finish, I knew that wasn’t logistically possible for me. Committed or not, I knew I couldn’t write much balancing a laptop on my lap in a moving car.

Daily targetI created this calendar as a visual reminder of my plan. The NaNoWriMo website ( has a tool where I would post the number of words I actually wrote each day. I also logged my progress in my planner so I could track the days I was most productive. If I did it again, I would add a cumulative word count on each day of this calendar.

The calendar was a sobering visual of the crazy commitment I had made. I certainly had my work cut out for me in November!

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