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3 Highly Effective Tips for Time Management During NaNoWriMo from a 7 Time Loser

I first came upon National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2015. During this time, I was working on a webcomic titled One Beat Shinobi. It was about a girl named Sakura Tenshi, who was the youngest and only daughter of her clan and, thus, the only person who could claim the title of head of the line; however, the cabinet branches started to deflect, and it was up to her to rebuild her family. I plan to return to this story, along with many others from my past. However, I want to focus on my current projects and backtrack as things progress. Well, that was that, and now fast forward 8 years later, I have successfully lost each NaNoWriMo since I created my account. Not a proud moment, I know; however, this blog post will be filled with the things I have learned due to losing 7 fruitful years in a row that I have found most effective when trying to win NaNoWriMo.

So, what is NaNoWriMo? Nanowrimo, or National November Writing Month, is a challenge where writers of all genres, levels, and tenures challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days (an average of about 1667 words daily for 30 days). The Official NaNoWriMo website describes the month as a "fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing."  In this blog post, I will uncover the most effective tips for time management, staying motivated, and overcoming writer's block.

01. Set Clear Goals

One of the perks of NaNoWriMo is that the Goal is already laid out: 50,000 words in 30 days or about 1667 words a day for 30 days. With this clear goal, we can apply the SMART Goal Method to effectively make this goal achievable.


  • Write 50,000 Words in 30 Days during November for NaNoWriMo.


  • Use a wordcount tracker to track progress


  • Given my current workload, the Writing Schedule I have created does support the completion of this challenge.


  • Completing NaNoWriMo will further propel my Kindl Vella Thrall, and I will be closer to completing the 1st arc on vella, thus one step closer to publishing the physical book on KDP.


  • Either Write 1667 words a day. Or create a Writing Schedule and adhere to the word count determined by the schedule.
    • I will be Creating a Writing Schedule (discussed later in the blog post)

02. Create a Writing Schedule

Adding a writing schedule to my packing list for NaNoWriMo has been a game changer for me. One thing I often find myself struggling with is my inability to "find time to write." I often find myself panicking and feeling overwhelmed by the time crunch. By adding a writing schedule and making it a part of my daily routine for the month, I can get more done with a fraction of the stress. 

Author Sara Cannon has a fantastic methodology that I have found highly effective for determining how much time I have for writing on her Heart Breathings YouTube Channel. The name of the Video is Preptober Planner Walkthrough 2023. In this video, Sara offers a free NaNoWriMo planner, and at the 10:45 mark in the video, she goes over the Writing Schedule portion of the video. You can get the Preptober 2023 Planner Free when you sign up for her News Letter (this is not sponsored. I just really found this resource to be decisive for me, and I wanted to share it).

03. Pomodoro Method and Writing Sprints

I was first introduced to the Pomodoro Method by Dale L. Roberts during his Saturday Writing Sprints on his YouTube Channel. The Pomodoro Method is a time management technique created by Francesco Cirillo.  It is an excellent tool for those who either need help with distractions or feel that they need more time to be productive.

The Pomodoro Method:

  • Choose a project or task
  • Set a time in 25-30 minute intervals and begin working
  • At the end of each interval, take a break between 2 and 5 minutes (depending on your available time)
  • Repeat
  • After the first four sessions, take a more extended 10-15 minute break.
  • Make sure you are keeping track of your sessions.

For Bonus Points | I have begun making a journal entry about my experience during each session, how it made me feel, and what I can do to improve for my next session. This introspection is extremely valuable to the evolution of my productivity. 

Bonus | Story Binder

Possibly my Favorite Part of my NaNoWriMo Toolkit. Keeping a Story Binder helps me keep everything in one place and, thus far, has been one of the most effective tools in helping me reach my goals. I've learned that the more effort I put into my binders, the more productive my overall NaNoWriMo Month was.

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