It’s almost time, fellow Wrimos! Are you ready??

For those of you who are not Wrimos (NaNoWriMo participants), November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short (NaNo for even shorter).

“But Sarah,” you may ask, “What the heck is National Novel Writing Month?!”

Here’s the deal. Every November, writers from around the world buckle down and try to write a novel in a month… or, 50,000 words of a novel, to be exact. Depending on genre, that might very well be an entire novel. In others, it’s more like half a novel. For example, I write Paranormal Fantasy/Contemporary Fantasy which falls under the massive Sci-Fi/Fantasy (SFF) umbrella. Based on industry guidelines, roughly 90,000 to 100,00 is about right for novel-length in that genre. (I can already tell you, that ain’t happening in 30 days, y’all… for me, anyway!)

Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is a big deal. Think about it. In addition to the creative challenges, people have life stuff like jobs, school, families, social commitments, and sometimes holidays (Thanksgiving for me and my fellow Americans) to work around. While some may be able to sneak in writing time every day, a lot of us can’t, so that 30 days may be more like 20 or 25 writing days. Many writers like to hit the ground running, or rather, writing, on November 1. Me? I’ve usually got a good idea of what I’ll be writing, but I never quite manage to prepare the other areas of my life for the extra writing time I need for NaNo.

Not this year, friends. Not. This. Year.

This year, I’m not only prepared to work on my novel, I know when I will be working on it, I’ve planned out meals for the month (excluding Thanksgiving weekend), I’ve made a schedule, and I’ve talked to my husband about the need for my writing time to be uninterrupted. He’s promised to leave me alone once the Do Not Disturb sign goes up on my office door. Thankfully, most of my writing time happens early in the day when he’ll be working, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. 🤞

Let’s talk about my NaNoWriMo schedule. What I’ve created is my *IDEAL* schedule and it only applies to days I plan to write. I know that I’ll be participating in the virtual Indie WriterFest one weekend and that my husband and I will be out of town for several days over the American Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I’m guessing my writing time will be limited to nonexistent these days. Because of this, I am giving myself eight buffer days, meaning I’ll only be aspiring to follow this schedule twenty-two days in November. Additionally, this will affect my daily word count goal, but we’ll get to that in a bit. For those of you who love to schedule, here’s a look at my ideal NaNo schedule:

Daily Word Count Goal (WCG)… If you follow the traditional NaNo format, you’ll be shooting for 50,000 words by the end of the month. Broken down into daily WGC, that’s 1,667 words per day (50,000 divided by 30). Since I’m giving myself eight buffer days, I need to tweak that WGC by dividing 50k by 22. This gives me a daily WCG of 2,273. That’s a lot of words, but I know I can do it because I’ve done it before. Now, if I was truly trying to write a complete draft based on the SFF word count mentioned above, that number would double… which I may be able to hit occasionally, but no way could I hit that number twenty-two consecutive times.

Meal Plan. I typically do some sort of meal-planning every week. It mostly revolves around dinner since I typically rotate between two or three breakfasts and usually have leftovers or a frozen protein bowl for lunch.

For NaNoWriMo, I’ve put together a basic menu consisting of quick and easy options and make-ahead freezer meals. My intention is to get all of the freezer meals prepped and in the freezer over the next few days. I’ve already purchased the items for the freezer meals and the non-perishables which will make additional grocery shopping in November a snap. Here’s a look at my NaNo menu:

If you’re interested, here are links to the recipes:

Baked Egg Muffins: I don’t follow a particular recipe I usually just dump eggs, ham or bacon, diced bell peppers, and a bit of cheese into a bowl, mix the ingredients and then dump them into muffin tins. But a quick Google search for Baked Egg Muffins results in tons of options for you.

Chicken Korma: the recipeprovides instructions for cauliflower rice, but I usually skip that as Doug, my husband, won’t eat it. We have it over quinoa or rice instead.

Maple Mustard Chicken: we usually have this with roasted or grilled veggies and brown rice or quinoa.

Sweet & Sour Beef Stew: This is a full meal in a bowl, but I usually have a a smaller serving with a side salad.

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole: this one has milk which I am sensitive to, so I usually decrease the amount of milk by at least half and add a little chicken broth.

NaNoWriMo “Uniform”. Something else I do to save time during November is pull my favorite comfy clothes and stores them in a bin on top of my dresser for easy access. This way, I can just grab and go when I get dressed. MY NaNo “uniform” options consist of my favorite leggings and yoga pants, high neck racerback tank tops, graphic tees, a couple of zip-up hoodies, Storiarts fingerless gloves, flip flops (because I hate socks, but also hate to walk around barefoot) and my favorite Georgia Bulldogs ball cap (GO DAWGS!). Author Sarra Cannon has a fantastic video on her Heart Breathings channel where she talks about this concept and shares a bunch of other helpful tips and useful info. Definitely worth a watch if you’re participating in NaNo or have any sort of looming deadline. HIGHLY recommend.

So, are you a Wrimo? Do you have any tips for surviving National Novel Writing Month or recipes you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments or join the conversation on Instagram.

See you next time!


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