With NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) coming up in November, many aspiring and veteran writers are gearing up to accomplish an incredible feat… complete an entire book in one month. The goal is a lofty 50,000 words in 30 days, but it’s definitely attainable. The key is to ensure each writing session is focused, purposeful and prepared, and that comes with planning. Today, I’m sharing my tips to ensure each writing session gives you the best opportunity to succeed.
Tip #1 – A Quiet Place
No, not the movie, your writing space! This doesn’t mean silence, this means a distraction free zone so your mind is a quiet place. For myself that means soft instruments music to drown out any outside noises or my husband watching TV downstairs (my go to is Epic Film Scores through Spotify). Others may need earplugs or white noise to remain focused. If you’re unsure what will work, give each a try and see which works best for you.
Tip #2 – Clutter Free Offices
When forced with a deadline or something we “must” get done, people can find nearly anything to avoid the task. How often have you sat down at your computer and decided to take a few minutes to tidy up then suddenly find yourself vacuuming the floor and doing the laundry… virtually anything but writing. Prepare for your writing session by tidying up the night before. Ensure there are no distractions in your office that could pull you away from your task… writing!
Tip #3 – Plan for Success
This tip may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Before you sit down to write make sure you know what you’re going to write. Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, you need to go into each writing session with a purpose. I use cue cards and jot down notes for the next chapter/scene I’ll be working on AFTER my last writing session. What this does is get me excited for what’s coming next, and often times when I’m going through the day, I spend my time daydreaming about what I’ll be writing the next day which gets me super excited! If you leave this task to right before your writing session, or worse, during the session, you’ll waste time planning when you should be writing!
Tip #4 – Schedule Your Writing
It’s easy to think of writing as a hobby or something you do when you have time, but if it’s something you love doing why not treat it as such! Put it in your calendar, schedule it like you would any other work meeting or commitment, and don’t ignore it. Make sure you tell others this is your time and that you’re not to be disturbed. By ensuring others know writing is important to you it will become just as important to them and they’ll help encourage you too!
Tip #5 – Disconnect
This might seem obvious, but how many of us have sat down to write and ended up spending hours flipping through social media? I know I’m guilty. The easiest way to avoid that happening is to not tempt yourself. If you know you plan to write at 5pm, scroll through social media at 4pm, avoiding distractions when your writing session starts. Then, when you sit down turn off your phone and (if you can) your wifi. Putting the phone on do not disturb mode can still ensure you aren’t distracted, and you can still get important calls if needed (most phones have an option to override so not disturb mode for specific people/numbers). Turning the Wifi off avoids the temptation to google something and fall down a rabbit hole of distractions. If you need to research something for your book, leave a place holder in your manuscript and look it up after the session is completed. For some who use software or writing platforms that require wifi this may not be possible, but if it is give it a try.
I hope these tips help to set yourself up for success and give you some ideas to remain focused during and before your writing sessions. NaNoWriMo is an exciting and fantastic month, so don’t forget to celebrate each milestone! Happy writing.
About the Author
As an avid reader from a young age, it only made sense that one day I would write my own stories. I grew up in a small town in central Alberta Canada where there wasn’t much to do but read, cheer on the Oilers and attempt to enjoy the long winter months.
My first book series, The WATCHER Series, was self-published in 2017 and later picked up by Aelurus Publishing to be republished. The three-book series, along with a second four-book series The HIDDEN WAR, set in the same world will ALL be released in 2020.
Currently, along with finishing up the above series, I am working on my first YA Fantasy series called The BANISHED PRINCE (check out a sneak peek in my blog) which I hope to have out soon as well!
Marked. Hidden. Trained. But the terror awaiting is greater than any of them can imagine.
Sienna has spent her entire life inside the DEZ, a glorified orphanage for unwanted Marked kids. Finally, she’s only months away from graduation. For over a year she’s worked hard to prepare for life outside the DEZ, but being the arena’s champion isn’t always an easy task…even for the notorious Blaze. Fighting in the Underground isn’t about the thrill or the glory, though Sienna has achieved both, it’s about the money—and a way out.
When an explosion rocks the city of Cytos, the Marked kids find themselves at the center of a brewing war. Desperation brings Sienna into the arena one last time, only her opponent, the Wraith, won’t be so easy to defeat. And for Sienna, failure is not an option.
Jayla is a Watcher. She’s been tasked with keeping her city safe from an enemy the citizens don’t even know exists. For over 150 years the Watchers have kept them safe, but a darkness has awoken, and even the shadows have gone quiet in fear.
When Jayla fails to stop the explosion at the Genetics Lab, she and her team vow to find those responsible. Soon they discover the Marked kids are at the center of it all. To figure out what’s going on, Jayla will have to step back into the arena and become something she thought she’d tried to forget. She must become the Wraith, even if only for a night, to acquire an ally and a way into the DEZ. But can she do it without losing herself again?
Peace has always been the goal, and they’ve succeeded for a long time, but at what cost? How long can a deadly secret be hidden from the world? This isn’t a fight for glory and riches…this is a battle of survival.