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How to set goals for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo starts on Saturday!

(on your mark…)

If you’re not familiar with NaNo, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, almost writer on the planet holes up for 30 days to scratch out 50,000 words on a fury of caffeine and chocolate snacks. Some over achievers actually spit out an entire novel. If you make the 50k word goal, you won!

But I’m a NaNo rebel. While I do like Twitter word sprints and inspirational posts, I usually adjust the 50k goal so my body doesn’t putter out with migraines around week two (which it usually does).

And, I figure if I share my goals publicly this year, I will be held accountable.

(get set….)
nanowrimo-logo

Here are my goals (Dream big at this stage—we’re going to edit goals later):

  • finish line editing RBRP
    which includes Luka’s POV
    importing my stack of hard edits
  • receive and incorporate feedback from my 3 readers
  • send to other 3 readers, receive and incorporate feedback
  • go over agent list to query
  • research self pubbing more (I’ve been really waffling with RBRP on this)
  • start drafting TPT—30k
  • move back into posting twice a week

Here’s a dose of reality (very important if I want to set realistic goals for myself. Remember to take into account holidays, illnesses, and even a freebee day or two.):

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My #1 Secret For Being Productive: Guest Post by Randy Ingermanson

(I think this is a great advice that can be used in any area of life, not just for those who are managing a writing schedule)

schedule

original photo found here: http://goo.gl/LpQM4o

People ask me all the time how I get so much done. There’s an easy answer, but it’s not very helpful. The easy answer is that I “put the big rocks in first.”

I’m sure everybody has heard the parable about the guy who puts a bunch of big rocks into a bucket. The bucket looks full, but it isn’t, because he then pours in a bunch of gravel around the big rocks. The bucket now looks full, but it still isn’t, because he then pours in a bunch of sand around the gravel. The bucket now looks really full, but it isn’t, because he then pours in some water that soaks into the sand. And now the bucket is finally, really full. The moral of the story is to put the big rocks in first.

Yeah, yeah, sure, nice parable.

But how do you do that, in practical terms?

Here’s what I do:

1) Every morning, my first task is open up my Business Journal and make a list of the Big Rocks for the day. These are the main categories of tasks I’ll be working on. Typically, these are things like the following:
* Admin
* Writing
* Web site
* Marketing
* Day Job

2) If any of the Big Rocks have some obvious smaller subtasks, then I list those subtasks. In rare cases, I may need to break down the subtasks into even smaller tasks, but generally there’s no reason to go that deep.

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How to Tackle the Editing Beast Part 1

aspiring_novelists

photo found here: http://goo.gl/meCuuR

When I saw this picture, I burst out laughing. Yup, the main part of writing is editing. Not nearly as fun as the romantic notion of the caffeine-fit typing attack we’ve all grown up thinking writers experienced. But it’s still my favorite part because I can finally mold something worthwhile 🙂

I’ve been staring at my editing to-do list on this RBRP book for about a month now. Each time I start editing I have to remind myself that when I’m facing a massive project, the most manageable way to tackle the blasted thing is to break it down into manageable chunks.

I half the editing beast by focusing on the big picture stuff first, like character development and building tension, then the small details like sentence structure and word choices. Here’s what I’ve been doing for the big picture edits for the past several weeks:

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