NaNoWriMo: Stay Focused During Thanksgiving

We are quickly approaching the last full week of NaNoWriMo and with the final week comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a great holiday that marks the beginning of the holiday season, but it does bring many distractions for someone attempting to finish strong during NaNoWriMo. With family, friends, parades, football, Black Friday shopping, decorating, and entertaining, it’s hard to fathom the idea of finishing your 50,000 words. However, there are several things that you can do now that will help you whenever Thanksgiving comes and you find yourself away from your computer.

Starting tomorrow, start waking up earlier. Try to make it a habit to start writing shortly after you wake up. During Thanksgiving, your days will most likely be filled with family, friends, and everything that goes on with the holidays. These festive days may turn into festive evenings that eat away much of your writing time. If you write your words before you start your day, it will eliminate the guilt of not writing throughout the day because you would have already written your words that morning. You will also lower your stress levels knowing that your writing for the day is done.

If time is available, build yourself a word count cushion before Thanksgiving arrives. If you’ve been consistently writing 1,667 words every day, challenge yourself to write 2,500 words or even 3,000 words over the next few days. It sounds like it could be difficult, especially if you’re beginning to burn out. However, there is a chance that you may not be able to write the words you need on Thanksgiving. You’ll be incredibly thankful for the cushion you’ve given yourself that will keep you on track.

When Thanksgiving begins and you find it difficult to make time to sit at you computer, make sure you have a pen and paper or your phone handy. Between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thanksgiving football, or Black Friday check-out lines, you will probably find yourself with time that you are just sitting/standing around. During this down time, jot down your thoughts in a journal or text yourself notes that you can copy into your manuscript later. You will add more words than you’d expect if you jot down thoughts during the day.

Most importantly, try not to stress out over meeting your word count requirement. Thanksgiving is a day about reflecting on what you are thankful for and spending time with those you love. The holiday may add distractions, but if you keep your head low and focus, you will soon be able to call yourself a NaNoWriMo winner.

If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I hope your novel writing is going well and you’re able to complete your 50,000 word count! If you have any thoughts to share about staying focused during Thanksgiving, please share them in the comments!

Until next week,



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