NaNoWriMo – Planning your Life


Spaghetti and Meatballs PrepWe’ve planned out our writing in the last post so now we’re planning our life for November so we can actually get ourselves through the month.

1. Calendar
You probably have some things that you can’t move – for example work, your mother’s birthday, your child’s dance recital, your school reunion so block those things in.

I’ll use myself as an example I work from home so that’s fixed but my schedule changes a bit so I will block in what I can. My November also includes among other things:
1st – bookclub
3rd/4th – weekend away/husband’s b’day party
8th – selling my books at and helping run the school Night Markets
14th – tickets to a musical
17th – school reunion
18th – family outing with another family

That’s a lot of stuff so that’s it I need to say a big fat no to any more social engagements in November. I’m not big on the word “No”. In fact I’m shocking so I just have to be tough.

2. Prepare for anything you can in advance
So if you have birthdays in November for example, go and get the gifts now in October. I’m selling my books at the Night Markets so I’ve already ordered the books, postcards, a banner and other promotional material so that I’m not running around on the 8th doing that.

3. Tell people you’re doing NaNoWriMo
This isn’t something people will guess at so you need to tell them – “Hey I’m writing a 50,000 word novel in November, so if you want to meet for coffee we better do it now or in December”.

4. Plan to make the most of small increments of time.
Do you have half an hour to wait while your child does soccer practice? A 40 minute train trip to work? A lunch break and somewhere you can drag your computer? Plan to use this time so – keep your battery charged to write – or use this time to make the phone calls or send the e-mails you usually do at other times and use that time to write.

5. Do a menu plan (especially if you make or plan the meals at your place)
Most of us spend a lot of time planning, shopping and preparing meals. It’s so much easier with a meal plan. It’s not that hard. Plan meals that are quick, you can use a slow cooker for, you can make ahead and freeze or you can delegate. (We don’t eat take out so that’s not part of my plan and I think you need veggies)

Monday – spaghetti & meatballs (pre-made), salad and delegate to the kids (Just reheating and boiling pasta)
Tuesday – slow cooker roast chicken and veggies (slow cooker)
Wednesday – tacos (premade meat) and delegate to the kids
Thursday – chicken stir fry (use leftover chicken) under 15 minutes
Friday – bbq steaks and salad (Delegate to hubby)
Saturday – hm pizza ( buy dough or make it) and have family assemble
Sunday – soup and quesadillas

6. Do a cook up
Some things you can do to prepare are easy and versatile and will get you several meals some examples:
– make a batch of bolognese sauce (for pasta, pasta bake, lasagne)
– make a batch of meatballs – subs, spaghetti & meatballs, on pizzas,
– make a batch of chicken kebabs and freeze in marinades – eg lemon & herbs, satay, pesto
– make a freeze some soup
– make a batch of twice-baked potatoes

7. Get Ahead
If you can get your laundry up to date, have your Christmas list written, do a big grocery shop then it will help you.

I have more thoughts on this but I would love to hear your comments.

I also have a cooking blog that is more than a little neglected but there are some good recipes over there…


Carol C
10/7/2012 09:35:12 am

Great meal ideas – I will be stealing these for November!
Another tip would be to organise your writing space. Clear out all the clutter and only have items relevant to your Nanowrimo story. Now to tidy my desk …
10/7/2012 10:08:57 am

Good advice Carol…

I thought of another one…set your DVR to series record any shows you can’t miss…TV can be such a time-suck!
Allison Tait
10/7/2012 09:31:36 pm

Great tips! I have a posse all primed for NaNo this year, so I’ll be sure to share!
10/8/2012 07:38:06 am

Thanks Alison. Part 3 will be up in a couple of days!

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