The Lead In

As NaNo approaches, it never fails that I feel one of two ways – fully prepared and ready to go, or like a flaily, melting puddle of goo.

Most years, I have no idea what led to me feeling which way – I’ll have only the most vague idea of a plot on October 28th, and I’m confident AF.  The next year, I have a plot, characters and an outline in June, and I’m flaily by October.

This year, I have a good grasp on plot, know my characters pretty well, and thanks to our weekly exercises, have a really good start on both MCs GMC.

And reader, I’m flailing. I think this year it’s computer related stress. My currently computer seems to be incompatible with the latest Windows 10 update. It’s time to replace it regardless, but the new one I ordered is delayed and not due to arrive until November 6th.  I can’t start NaNo late, so I’m starting with my old computer and hoping it holds out. There is literally – not figuratively – no chance of me finishing if I start on the 7th. The end of the month is full of days I won’t get to write.

Which leads me to one of the things I started doing last year, to combat the days I can’t write.

NaNo automatically figures out your daily word goal. I’m normally good about staying on par – until I hit one, or a few, of the days I don’t have time to write. So, last year, I figured out those days ahead of time, counted my total days I would write, and divided it out.

For example, my SIL and I have an annual movie marathon during deer hunting season. We hunker down in my living room with all six of our kids and watch movies for 48 hours straight – Friday through Sunday. I usually manage to write on Friday before we start, and Sunday after we end, but I don’t get any writing done on Saturday. I also have two Thanksgivings, one of which I host. And I go Black Friday shopping. I don’t get to write on Black Friday or Second Thanksgiving.

For this year, that means 27 writing days. 50000 words/27 days = 1852 words per day. It’s not a huge difference, but last year was the first time I’ve stayed on par or ahead all month long. I also finished 3 days ahead, so go me.

To help myself track it, I create an Excel spreadsheet and set up equations to do the math for me. I track there and on the NaNo page.

So, friends, what are your last minute tricks to finishing NaNo?




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