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Ideas for Finding More Time to Write

by Jennifer on October 21, 2009

By Jennifer Blanchard

Eleven days until the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

You’ve already plotted your novel. You’ve been introduced to your main characters. You’ve started to work on your schedule.

And if that wasn’t enough, here’s a list of suggestions to help you find even more room in your schedule for writing:

  • Hire a babysitter a couple nights a week.
  • Hire a dog walker or ask a friend to walk your dog for you.
  • Outsource cleaning for the month (either by asking your kids/significant other to help or by hiring a cleaning service).
  • Write during your lunch break.
  • Get up a little early and write.
  • Order take out instead of making dinner a couple nights a week.
  • Make a couple large meals one night and eat leftovers the rest of the week instead of cooking.
  • Record your weekly TV shows instead of watching them live.
  • Cancel/reschedule all non-required plans for the month of November (or don’t make any plans that you don’t have to make).
  • Buy groceries in bulk one day a week, rather than running to the store everyday.
  • Use some of your PTO or vacation days (or maybe even a sick day!).
  • “Write” your novel into a tape recorder instead of typing it all.
  • Use voice-to-text software to tell your story.
  • Send your laundry out for cleaning (or have someone else do it for you).

These are just a few suggestions. There are TONS of ways to find additional writing time in your schedule.

With a few shifts in your usual way of doing things, you can write your NaNoWriMo novel.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year and would like help staying motivated throughout the entire challenge, be sure to sign up for my 30 Days of NaNoWriMo Tips for Procrastinating Writers e-mail newsletter.

About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura Lee Bloor October 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Eeek! It’s coming so fast! I still can’t decide if I have the energy to jump in and do it this year. How can I avoid the Thanksgiving pitfall? I want to make sure I have plenty of time to spend with my family since I rarely get to see them.

2 jennifer blanchard October 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm

@Laura Lee Bloor The best way to avoid the Thanksgiving pitfall is to make sure to stay on top of your daily word count (1,667 words). If you do, then writing a mere 1,667 on Thanksgiving Day won’t be so bad. Or you can write extra words on other days and write nothing on Thanksgiving Day.

Sign up for the NaNo Tips if you’re planning on doing NaNo. They will help keep you on track 🙂

3 L October 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I, too, have found that it really helps to bank extra words. I try to schedule extra writing time on my days off just for this purpose.

Good luck in Nano!

4 Deb Cushman October 22, 2009 at 9:00 am

Great ideas. It’s hard to prepare for NaNoWriMo because it always seem like we have so long until it’s time — and then suddenly it’s time. Still deciding whether I’ll do it this year. Probably won’t know until November 1st!

5 jblan October 22, 2009 at 11:12 am

@Deb Cushman Yes, I also tend to decide at the last minute. Thou as of right now, I am planning on doing NaNo this year.

6 Susie McCray October 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

“Write” your novel into a tape recorder instead of typing it all.

I used my recorder to “write” my plot outline. I’ll have to sit in the car on my lunch break to record the novel writing itself. I like being known as eccentric but being completely looney tunes is not an option. Thanks for sharing.

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