Exercises, writing

NaNo ’18: Day 7 (Learning About Yourself)

Although this is technically the first full week of NaNo, we’ve also technically had an entire week already. By the end of the day you should have eleven-thousand, six-hundred and sixty-six words to keep up with NaNo’s projected goal. If not, don’t panic, there is plenty of time left to get caught up and plenty of month left to do it in.

While getting words down on the the page is absolutely vital to winning NaNo, this week might also help you in another way when it comes to making progress: helping you see when you’re most efficient at writing. That may be in noticing that you make the most progress and do the best when you’re able to write in certain ways.

To clarify, I don’t mean to restrict this to just when you write, but also how. Some of you might be morning people, and find that writing when everyone else is still asleep is your most productive time. Some of you might be more inclined towards daytime or evening writing, and are able to easily block out distractions.

Some of us also don’t have a particular ‘time’ for writing, so much as we have a certain space or process. Although I can write practically anywhere thanks to the apps on my phone, the words are much slower and I have a tendency to end up getting distracted with something else not related to the story I’m working on. Sitting at my desk however, I’ll happily plunk out several hundred words before I realize someone’s calling my name. Time of day doesn’t matter to me. And yet, the reverse of that may be true for some of you: you may very well do your best writing in a few stolen minutes in line at the grocery store, or while waiting at the doctor’s office, or doing this that or the other thing.

Part of learning your process means also occasionally giving up our ideas of what a ‘writer’ looks like, or how they’re supposed to work. If you’re not making the progress you want to be, try changing up how you’re writing, or when. Figure out what works best for you.


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