Heart Breathings

Prepping Your Life For NaNoWriMo

October 20, 2022 by Sarra Cannon

Writing Tips

When we talk about writing to deadlines or a big, timed event like NaNoWriMo, we often spend most of our time talking about plot, ideas, and scenes. Those things are important, of course, but there’s more to success sometimes than just prepping your novel. What about prepping your life for a big deadline?

Today on YouTube, I’m giving some of my best tips for setting your life up for success any time you’re on deadline. As always, I’m sharing this not because it’s what I think you need to do but rather what I’ve noticed works for me. Take what works and resonates and leave the rest. Let me know if any one tip resonates with you more than others! Watch the new video now.

How To Plan Your Life For NaNoWriMo

My Top Tips:

  1. Create enough time in your daily schedule to realistically write the words you are aiming for. If you normally write 500 words an hour and you’re aiming for 2000 words a day, you’ll need a minimum of 4 hours of writing time during NaNo. If you only have an hour, you can only expect 500 words. Plan accordingly.
  2. Eliminate as many daily decisions as possible. If you can plan meals ahead and give yourself a daily uniform, you’re going to create more mental space for writing decisions.
  3. Get your space organized! Create a caddy or organizer to help you keep your NaNo tools organized. That way, you aren’t searching for things or wasting time or mental energy trying to clean up during NaNo or find your tools.
  4. Tell your family, friends, and/or housemates about your plans! Enlist their help, give them clear boundaries, and communicate your needs. Try to anticipate distractions from your household and have a backup plan when they occur.
  5. Create a transition ritual to calm your mind and invite your muse to play. A candle, some deep breathing, a fun playlist or ambience channel. These mental cues can go a long way to getting your mind into a place where it’s time to focus and write.

I hope these tips are helpful! We only have one week to go of our Preptober series! Next week, my video will be a discussion on mental health. Then, on October 30, we’ll have a livestream Q&A with some special guests, so set it on your calendar, and I’ll see you then!

Still need my Preptober planner? Fill out the form below and get access to all the great tools inside.

Sarra Cannon

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Sarra Cannon

Hi, I'm Sarra!

I have been self-publishing my books since 2010, and in that time, I've sold well over half a million copies of my books. I'm not a superstar or a huge bestseller, but I have built an amazing career that brings me great joy. Here at Heart Breathings, I hope to help you find that same level of success. Let's do this.


A Writer's Life Planning And Organization Self-Publishing Tips Writing Tips