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Goal Setting & Writing | Preptober

Let’s look at Goal Setting & Writing - specifically surrounding NaNoWriMo.

First up, let’s take a look at the basic idea of NaNoWriMo is to build a habit over the course of 30 days, by writing 50,000 words of a first draft for a novel - reinforces itself over those 30 days as building a habit, where you write 1667 words / day.

Building a habit can take anywhere from 21-30 days to really engrain into your everyday life.

So, if your idea is to take part and tackle NaNoWriMo and write 50,000 words in a month - that’s going to take a plan. You have your goal (writing 50,000 words) - so you need a plan for that fit into your already hectic life.

Realistically take a look at the hours and time you can devote to writing in a given day / week.

There is 168 hours in a week, minus 56 hours for sleep (ideally 8 hours/night) = 112 hours left in your week, not counting work, travel, kids & other obligations. Life is pretty busy!

In 7 days your overall goal is to write 11,669 words (1667 words/day). That seems like an awful lot, given time constraints of life - you also need to take into account the speed you write at and your energy levels.

Generally, I can knock out 1200 - 1500 words / hour for drafting - on a good day. That’s a pretty typical amount, but my biggest secret is to do word sprints - set a timer for 20-30 minutes, and JUST WRITE. That’s the only way you’ll ever make it happen, just get the words down and get out of your own head.

Realistically if you are just starting out writing, and making it a daily habit - your word count / hour will vary - a typical amount per hour would most likely be 500-800 words. So, 1667 words / day - you would be looking at 2-3 hours of writing. Once you get in the groove of writing daily, you’ll pick up your speed and establish a set point for your word counts.

The key - is to find out what works for you.

Listen to your creative times & energy - if you don’t know when you function best creatively - I suggest try writing in the morning - EARLY - like 5am before you do anything else for the day (obviously if you can with your schedule) for two writing sprints.

Studies have shown many people are able to be more creative first thing in the morning before they do any other tasks. Personally, I didn’t believe that before… until I tried it for a week straight. You heard that right, waking up at 4:30am and jumping into some writing from 5 - 6am. It’s some of the best writing I’ve ever done and my word counts hit 1200 - 1500 words. Honestly, it sounds crazy, rolling out of bed just to turn on a bright screen and tap into your creative energy - it just works. That’s my personal experience - it took a while to figure it out, but I noticed a difference anytime I try to write at other times of the day.

Try writing a random points throughout the day and figure out what works best for your creative process.

Lastly, don’t focus so much on the numbers. The goal for the month is 50, 000 words - but if you show up and write every day, that’s the main goal to building it into a habit.

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