Construction site with wooden ladder leading out of hole dug for foundation of an apartment building.
Does your writing feel like you’re caged into a construction site? Get handy with a ladder to climb in and out. © Laurel Decher, 2016.

This is the sixth post in a short series on preparing for (and thriving during) National Novel Writing Month. The first post collects story ingredients here , the second finds the core of your story here , the third cuts the story up into manageable portion sizes here, the fourth clarifies the story soup here, and the fifth looks ahead to life after NaNoWriMo. Happy Writing!

In the U.S., Thanksgiving is approaching and that means:

  1. Lots of free time to write.
  2. Lots of other responsibilities.

Either way, a major holiday’s a valuable chance to find out how you work as a writer. In the midst of the flurry, take a moment to jot down what you learn. NaNoWriMo lets you prioritize writing and teaches you to fit it in around your life. A major holiday is a chance to figure out how to write and still have a life.

If the thought of writing in the midst of the frivolities gives you a headache, set your novel aside. Try this instead:

If you spot a short window of writing opportunity, seize it. By now, you’re probably good at making yourself write no matter how you feel. If so, try this:

What’s NaNoWriMo showing you so far? Are you surprised about when you write most?

You may already think of yourself as a morning person or a night owl or an afternoon warrior. But your peak thinking time may be different than your peak imagining time. Or you may be full of brilliant ideas at night, but words show up more consistently in the morning.

In her book, 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love, Rachel Aaron writes about the time/energy/knowledge triangle as the key to writing lots of words. She writes about her own surprise that her best time of day for writing was not when she expected it to be.

(Post NaNoWriMo note: It’s a smart book that doesn’t take long to read. Good points about revision too.)

If you haven’t noticed a pattern, try jotting down time, place, mood before you launch into your words.

If you have, I’d love to hear about your writing style. Are you surprised by what you found out?


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