Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Tips to Increase NaNoWriMo Productivity


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NaNoWriMo kicks off in 21 days. Can you believe it! Are you ready? 

We've already discussed how to add a large writing project like NaNoWriMo into your jam-packed schedule. Now, it's time to plan ahead, consider how to eliminate distractions and time wasters, and make sure you get enough rest.  

Plan ahead 

Planning ahead is vital to creating a realistic writing schedule. Some ways you can plan ahead before tackling NaNoWriMo are:

  • Spend a few hours preparing menus for each week of November, including your holiday menu (if it applies).
  • If you’ll be entertaining, ask friends and family if they would be willing to bring a food dish.
  • Shop in bulk to cut back on errands to pick up food, household items, and office supplies.
  • Consider ordering holiday cards and envelopes pre-printed.
  • Time block your calendar, adding NaNoWriMo writing time into your most productive timeframe.

Eliminate distractions and time wasters 

Distractions and time wasters can threaten any project, no matter the size. It is especially important when approaching NaNoWriMo to eliminate activities that steal time from your writing. Here are some tips to help:

  • Set aside a specific time during the day to return phone messages and emails. Discipline yourself not to check email or surf the Internet when you should be writing. 
  • Share your time-blocked calendar with family members before you start NaNoWriMo, so they will know when you're writing.
  • Find a private place where you feel most productive and inspired to write.
  • Hang a "writing in progress" or "writer at work" sign on your door or put a tent card on your desk, asking family ahead of time not to interrupt you unless it's an emergency.
  • If you have young children who require care, have books, crafts, or other items to entertain them during writing time.

Rest up

One thing that will help with stress- and time-management during NaNoWriMo is getting enough rest. Burning the candles at both ends helps no one, and certainly not your writing. Get the required amount of sleep each night so that you’ll have a well-rested mind to tackle writing and anything unexpected that comes your way. Add bedtime to your calendar. 

Don't wait until the last minute to prepare for NaNoWriMo. Plan ahead, think of ways to eliminate what can pull you away from writing, and schedule bedtime into your calendar so you get enough rest leading up to and while you are participating in NaNoWriMo. 

Good luck to all who will participate in 2024!

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and award-winning editor. She is the author of four children’s books including, A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing. A blogger and book reviewer, she is a member of SCBWI and lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three adult children. Visit Cheryl's website at or her children’s book blog at

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