Casual Tips for Casual NaNoWriMers

(inspired by V and K)

It's almost that time of year again- NaNoWriMo; a month when one must juggle work, school, and whatever social life they possess.

As a 2008 participant, I was unprepared and unorganized. I had no sense of what I was writing, how I was writing it, or when I was planning to write... miraculously, I succeeded. The following is based on my personal experience on accomplishing the challenge with very little pre-thought:

Coordinate your writing sessions to fit your schedule. If this means writing during 15 minute breaks, so be it; after all, four of these short breaks add to a full hour. On the other hand, you may find it easier to sit down for long hours with no distractions. Within a week, you'll have figured out what works best for you. If you're somewhat strategic or superstitious, you'll want to stick to that pattern.

Average it out. The math has been done- 50,000 words/30 days is equal to 1667 words/day. Don't go to bed before you've succeeded in writing that amount. (Oh, and use a program that allows for a word count. The year I did it, I used NotePad; silly me.)

Set weekly goals. At some point, you're bound to fall asleep. This can be due to stress, your job, or simply watching excessive quantities of YouTube videos. Weekends are great if you're not working overtime. You have an extra 19 hours- 16 from the time you'd normally spend at school/work, and 3 from the time you'd normally spend sleeping in preparation for school/work the following day. If you decide not to go partying on Friday night, that's another 3 hours there.

Get a headstart. Aim for a total of 7000 words in the first three days. Decide if you want to continue by the end of the first week; you'll slump either the second or third week, so that extra couple thousand will be your safety net.

Pass 50k on the 29th. Skip class. Call in sick. Just give yourself that cushion, in case you fall short a couple hundred out of pure exhaustion. That way you'll have at least another day to finish, procrastinator. If you haven't procrastinated, pat yourself on the back and rejoice. Don't dare touch your computer in fear of wiping out your data; it's been a while since you've felt this relief.

Good luck; Music for NaNoWriMo will be coming soon.